Nestle, AT&T pull YouTube ads over pedophile concerns

Google-owned YouTube said on February 21, 2019, it was taking action to close a loophole that enabled users to share comments and links on child pornography over the video-sharing service. (AFP / JOSH EDELSON)
Updated 22 February 2019

Nestle, AT&T pull YouTube ads over pedophile concerns

  • A video from a popular YouTuber and a report from Wired showed that pedophiles have made unseemly comments on innocuous videos of kids
  • YouTube has faced advertiser boycotts in the past, including a widespread boycott in early 2017

SAN FRANCISCO, US: Several companies, including AT&T and Nestle, are pulling advertisements from YouTube over concerns about inappropriate comments on videos of children.
A video from a popular YouTuber and a report from Wired showed that pedophiles have made unseemly comments on innocuous videos of kids. The comments reportedly included timestamps that showed where kids innocently bared body parts.
YouTube says it disabled comments on tens of millions of videos and deleted offending accounts and channels.
Nestle and Fortnite maker Epic Games say they paused ads on YouTube while the company works on the issue. AT&T says it has removed ads until YouTube can “protect our brand from offensive content of any kind.”
YouTube has faced advertiser boycotts in the past, including a widespread boycott in early 2017. Since then YouTube has made efforts to be more transparent about how it deals with offensive comments and videos on its site.
But the latest flap shows how much of an ongoing problem offensive content continues to be, said eMarketer video analyst Paul Verna.
“When you think about the scope of that platform and what they’re up against, it is really like a game of whack-a-mole to try to prevent these problems from happening,” he said.
Still, because of the powerful advertising reach of YouTube’s parent Google, brands are unlikely to stay away from YouTube for long, he said.
Digital ad spending in the US is expected to grow 19 percent in 2019 to $129.34 billion this year, or 54 percent of estimated total US ad spending, according to eMarketer, with Google and Facebook accounting for nearly 60 percent of that total.
“At the end of the day, there’s a duopoly out there of Google and Facebook,” for digital advertising, he said. “Any brand that doesn’t play the game with either is potentially leaving a big marketing opportunity on the table.”


COVID-19 pandemic highlights importance of media role: Jordanian minister

Updated 22 November 2020

COVID-19 pandemic highlights importance of media role: Jordanian minister

  • Different media tools have helped people around the world complete work and continue their lives

DUBAI: The coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated the importance of investing in the development of the media and communication sector, which is as an important tool to serve society, Jordan’s media minister said.

Ali Al-Ayed, the Minister of State for Media Affairs and the official spokesperson for the Jordanian government, stressed that the pandemic highlighted the need for alternative modes of communication, state news agency Petra reported. 

Different media tools have helped people around the world complete work and continue their “lives under these exceptional circumstances,” Ayed said during a virtual session on the “Future of Media” conference organized by the Egyptian Ministry of State for Information.

Ali Al-Ayed, the Minister of State for Media Affairs and the official spokesperson for the Jordanian government. (Petra)

Ayed pointed to the great development brought about by social media and modern media tools during the past decade, stressing that they have become the primary source and platforms of exchange of information among individuals.

Ayed however warned of the dangers of social media and the threat of spreading rumors and false information in many Arab societies, which have limited levels of education and media culture.

Ayed stressed the importance of raising awareness, knowledge and correct culture in how to deal with these social problems.

“We are confident that the media, technical and information development during the coming years will lead us to more than we expect,” he said.

“What must be emphasized is the need for us to cooperate and join hands together in order to employ this development in the service of humanity,” he added.