On Friday, YouTube said it would prevent channels promoting anti-wax content from running advertising, explicitly saying that such videos fall under its policy prohibiting revenue generation of "dangerous and harmful" content. The move comes after advertisers on YouTube have withdrawn their ads from these videos, following inquiries from BuzzFeed News.
"We have strict guidelines that govern which videos we allow ads to appear on, and videos that promote anti-vaccination content violate these guidelines. We enforce these policies vigorously, and if we find a video that violates them, We immediately take action and remove ads, a YouTube spokesman said in an email to BuzzFeed News.
Seven different advertisers said they were & # 39; not aware that their ads were showing on videos like "Mom Research Vaccines, Detect Vaccination Errors and Vaccine Free", which speaks to vaccinating children, reach out to YouTube to retrieve the programmatic positions.
Their ads appeared on videos from channels including VAXXED TV, LarryCook333 (a prerequisite for StopMandatoryVaccinations.com) and iHealthTube, which the YouTube site has demonized, or prevented from running ads
Nomad Health, a health-controlled company, told Buz zFeed News that it "does not support the anti-vaccination movement," was "not aware that our ads were running alongside anti-vaccination videos," and would "do anything to prevent it from happening in the future. "
A discount vitamin company whose ads appeared on anti-wax videos, Vitacost, said it drew its ads from YouTube on Tuesday after a blogger revealed that ads ran against sexually exploiting videos of children.
"We drew all YouTube advertising Tuesday morning when we noticed content issues. We had strict rules to prevent our ads from showing on sensitive content, and they were not effective as promised," a Vitacost spokesperson for BuzzFeed News said via email "
" We will continue to stay out of the platform until those changes are made and have proven to be effective by other advertisers, says Vitacost spokesman.
The YouTube advertisers who were contacted by BuzzFeed News about their ads on anti-wax content, said they were not aware that their programmatic ads, which are algorithmically controlled, looked along with such videos.
"When we buy programmatic media, we specify parameters that restrict the placement of our ads from affiliation to specific content. However, sometimes ads are served in places that we do not approve. This is one of those cases," said a spokesman for Retail Me Not, a discount medicine company. "We're working to exclude this location now."
"After learning this, we immediately contacted YouTube to draw our ads not only displayed on this channel, but also to ensure that related content designating conspiracy theories is completely excluded," said a Grammarly spokesman. writing software company. "We have strict exclusion filters in place with YouTube that we thought would exclude such channels. We have asked YouTube not to do so again."
Earlier this week, Grammatical and other advertisers asked YouTube to withdraw their ads from videos of little ones children apparently shown and commented on by a network of pedophiles. Nestle, AT & T, Hasbro, Kellogg and Epic Games were among the brands that drew their advertisements over child pornography controversy.
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Other companies that asked YouTube to stop their ads appearing with anti-wax content include:
Brilliant Earth, a jewelry firm that said it made internal adjustments to ad settings, and will also follow up with our advertising partners to prevent our ads from appearing next to this content.
CWCBExpo, a marijuana exhibition that said it would be "Implementing strict content placement policies and eliminating hundreds of YouTube channels / videos and negative keywords."
XTIVIA, who said it was "crawling the ad position", which was not "requested target."
] SolarWinds, a software company that said the location was unintentional and had "adjusted [its] filters to further refine our ad targeting on YouTube to better adapt to the target audience, MSP and technol andy professionals."
After a measles outbreak, US President Adam Schiff asked that Facebook and Google, which own YouTube, address the risk of spreading medical information on vaccines on their platforms. Facebook responded last week by saying it would take "steps to reduce the distribution of health misinformation on Facebook."
Before Schiff's request, YouTube said it was working on algorithmic changes to reduce the appearance of conspiracy theories in its upcoming recommendations, a category containing some anti-wax videos, but not all. Following a BuzzFeed News report earlier this week that revealed YouTube's algorithm, anti-vaccination videos from channels such as VAXXED TV and StopMandatoryVaccinations.com are still often recommended, YouTube said "as many algorithmic changes," the changes to the next recommendation system "are gradual and become more and more accurate over time. "