Ads from reputable brands have begun appearing on videos promoting racism and celebrating the London terror attacks, allowing individuals uploading the offensive content to earn a profit, a report by The Times has found.
As a result, several UK-based firms including Royal Bank of Scotland, BBC, The Guardian, Marks & Spencer, Tesco, and Sainsbury’s have pulled advertising from the platform.
YouTube has come under more heat in the states, after a reporter from the Wall Street Journal has found ads for brands such as Coca-Cola running on videos using racist terms in the title, resulting in the firms also pulling advertising.
Some have questioned the legitimacy of the WSJ’s claims, with popular YouTube channel H3H3 Productions uploading a video seemingly disproving the paper’s claims with evidence that the aforementioned videos were not running ads at the time. The video was later removed when it came to light that the video was copyright claimed by a third party, and was therefore still able to generate ad revenue.
YouTube has also sparked controversy in recent weeks by unexpectedly pulling ads from videos deemed as not ‘family friendly’, in an attempt to curb rising concerns over the site’s content, inciting outrage from content creators and fans.