(Breitbart) – More than 300 of President Donald Trump’s political ads have taken down by Google and its video platform YouTube, mostly over the summer, according to a report by 60 minutes.
The CBS reporters were unable to find specific reasons for the mass takedowns of Trump ads, a common problem with social media companies, which are often reluctant to explain precisely why a ban or other act of censorship has happened. “We found very little transparency in the transparency report,” concluded 60 Minutes.
CBS reporters investigated the removal of pro-Trump ads after YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki highlighted the company’s decision to ban some of the President’s ads during an interview.
Via CBS News:
60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl asked Wojcicki, “Have you taken down any of President Trump’s ads at all?” YouTube’s CEO responded, “There are ads of President Trump that were not approved to run on Google or YouTube.” When pressed for an example, Wojcicki added, “Well, they’re available in our transparency report.” In response to concerns raised after the 2016 election cycle, Google and YouTube, like Facebook, keep a searchable archive of political ads that have run on the site. 60 Minutes reviewed the archive to learn more about President Trump’s problematic political ads. We found that over 300 video ads were taken down by Google and YouTube, mostly over the summer, for violating company policy. But the archive doesn’t detail what policy was violated. Was it copyright violation? A lie or extreme inaccuracy? Faulty grammar? Bad punctuation? It’s unclear. The ads determined to be offending are not available to be screened. We found very little transparency in the transparency report.
The GOP and the Trump campaign have condemned Google’s recent rule-changes around political ads, calling them a “blatant attempt to suppress voter information” ahead of the 2020 election.
’60 Minutes’ Grills YouTube CEO: Why Aren’t You Censoring More People?
During the interview, the CBS reporter demanded to know why YouTube isn’t censoring more “hate speech” and “conspiracy theories.”
This comes even as other sections of the mainstream media worry that authoritarian countries are using terms invented by left-wing journalists in the west, like “fake news,” as tools of censorship.
Via CBS News:
Lesley Stahl: You recently tightened your policy on hate speech. Susan Wojcicki: Uh-huh. Lesley Stahl: Why– why’d you wait so long? Susan Wojcicki: Well, we have had hate policies since the very beginning of YouTube. And we– Lesley Stahl: But pretty ineffective.
CBS reported that YouTube’s definition of “harmful content” was too “narrow.” Stahl also reminded the YouTube CEO that she’s not operating under a “freedom of speech mandate.”
Lesley Stahl: You’re not operating under some– freedom of speech mandate. You get to pick. Susan Wojcicki: We do. But we think there’s a lot of benefit from being able to hear from groups and underrepresented groups that otherwise we never would have heard from. But that means hearing from people with odious messages about gays, women and immigrants. Wojcicki explained that videos are allowed as long as they don’t cause harm: but her definition of “harm” can seem narrow. Susan Wojcicki: So if you’re saying, “Don’t hire somebody because of their race,” that’s discrimination. And so that would be an example of something that would be a violation against our policies. Lesley Stahl: But if you just said, “White people are superior” by itself, that’s okay. Susan Wojcicki: And nothing else, yes. But that is harmful in that it gives white extremists a platform to indoctrinate.
Stahl also expressed concern about the widely-reported phenomenon that the people tech companies assign to review potential “conspiracy theories” on their platforms often end up believing the alleged conspiracy theories.
“We work really hard with all of our reviewers to make sure that, you know, we’re providing the right services for them,” said Wojcicki.