YouTube under scanner for showing ads on extremist channels: Report

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Apr 23, 2018, 09:00 PM IST

File photo. Photograph:(Others)

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The incidents have raised questions about whether YouTube can adequately safeguard ads and brands' integrity

YouTube has come under scrutiny again after ads from over 300 companies were shown on channels which promoted and included content about white nationalists, Nazis pedophilia, conspiracy theories and North Korean propaganda, as per a report by CNN. 

Companies like Adidas, Under Armour, Facebook, Hilton, LinkedIn, Amazon etc have possibly unknowingly financed a few of these channels through these advertisements they paid for on YouTube. Ads from five US government agencies, such as the Department of Transportation and Centers for Disease Control, appeared on the channels.

According to the reports, the companies had no idea that their ads were being shown before videos which promoted extremist content and are now investigating the matter in more detail. 

However, this is not the first time YouTube has been in trouble. Previously, the company had come under fire for putting extremist content and for letting those channels make money for the videos. This is why many companies had removed themselves from YouTube's ad program while many others reduced the number of ads shared.

For example, a number of ads ran on Brian Ruhe's Nazi channel. YouTube subsequently deleted the channel for violating its community guidelines against spreading hate speech. But before its deletion, ads ran frequently on the channel.

The incidents have raised questions about whether YouTube can adequately safeguard ads and brands' integrity, or whether its automated systems mean that advertisers will always be at risk of such ad placements.

YouTube has made no comment over the reason behind the issue which have been continuing for a while. 

This is how YouTubers make money: 

YouTubers link their accounts with Google's AdSense program which delivers ads in exchange for a cut of ad revenue. However, a channel can only apply for monetisation if it reaches 4000 watch hours in the previous 12 months and 1000 subscribers so as to prevent spammers, impersonators and other bad actors from exploiting the ecosystem. 

One thing to note here is that there is no clarity as to how much a Youtuber is paid. There is fixed revenue model but it is believed that Youtube keeps about 40% of the revenue for itself. 

A lot of YouTubers remain totally clueless about how they are paid.