Google removed over 300 Trump ads for 'violating company policy'

Elias Hubbard
December 3, 2019

Google has said that, beginning in January in the United States, advertisers will only be able to target political ads based on broad categories such as sex, age and postal code.

Wojcicki was also asked about a Trump ad that falsely accuses former vice-president and Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden of offering military aid to Ukraine in exchange for the firing of a prosecutor investigating a company tied to his son, Hunter. However, when pressed for an example, Wojcicki added: "They're available in our transparency report".

The company also announced it would ban ads that included "misleading claims about the census process, and ads or destinations making demonstrably false claims that could significantly undermine participation or trust in an electoral or democratic process".

Google and YouTube have pulled hundreds of ads for Donald Trump over the last few months, according to CBS News' 60 Minutes. But Google's tool does not explain what specific policy an offending ad has violated.

On 60 Minutes, the way Wojcicki waved away Stahl's questions about YouTube's inconsistent policy and its even more inconsistent implementation of that policy would make Mark Zuckerberg proud.

Google's report did, however, show that numerous adverts ran for several days before their removal, "60 Minutes" reported - suggesting that they likely already reached their target audience.

But Wojcicki's response underscores how little information Google provides to users about ads that have been removed.

While it is possible to find more than 300 videos of Donald Trump. But the archive doesn't detail what policy was violated. A lie or extreme inaccuracy? Ironically, though, while the ads were listed in YouTube's "Transparency Report", there was no actual transparency as to why the videos were removed.

'Well, first of all there are lots of very successful conservative creators on YouTube. Our systems, our algorithms, they don't have any concept of understanding what's a Democrat, what's a Republican.

'They don't have any concept of political bias built into them in any way. And we do hear this criticism from all sides.

'We also have people who come from more liberal backgrounds who complain about discrimination. Although they were removed, it is important to note that they were all active for a few days. And so I think that no matter who you are, we are trying to enforce our policies in a consistent way for everybody'.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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