UK government suspends YouTube ads amid extremism concerns

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The British government has suspended all of its ads from the video-sharing website YouTube amid concerns the ads are placed next to extremist content, the Cabinet Office announced on Friday.

The announcement came after a newspaper investigation published by The Times showed that taxpayers-funded ads were shown alongside extremist content.

The British government is seeking assurance from YouTube’s owner Google that its ads should be displayed in the right way.

“We have placed a temporary restriction on our YouTube advertising pending reassurances from Google that government messages can be delivered in a safe and appropriate way,” said the Cabinet Office.

The government regards digital platforms including YouTube as a cost-effective way of reaching mass audience and engaging people in campaigns such as military recruitment, and the government’s ads require high standards.

“Google is responsible for ensuring the high standards applied to Government advertising are adhered to and that adverts do not appear alongside inappropriate content,” said the Cabinet Office.

Several other organizations, including the Guardian and the BBC, have also withdrawn their ads from YouTube for similar concerns.

According to CNN, Google has responded in a statement that it has “strict guidelines” that define where ads should appear and the company is “committed to doing better.”

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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