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YouTube Criticized For Profiting From Illegal Content

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YouTube is under fire for running ads during videos that contain illegal content.

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt recently sent a letter to the folks at Google after discovering the company is making money from ads displayed during some of the questionable clips uploaded to the video site.

Bruning and Pruitt are asking YouTube to remove videos that encourage such illegal activities as buying drugs, forging passports, or downloading pirated movies.

According to the International Business Times, both men understand that Google’s open platform cannot be censored. However, they are extremely concerned that Google is turning a profit by running ads during these clips.

“I’m deeply disappointed with Google’s lackadaisical attitude toward Internet safety and consumer protection. The company should be held accountable for profiting from a platform that perpetuates criminal activity,” Bruning said in his letter to YouTube and Google.

In addition to dumping the illegal content, Bruning and Pruitt want Google to stop making money off of these videos. Both men are also asking the company to put more restrictions on the sort of videos that users can upload.

The Wrap reports that Google remains committed to the safety of its users and prohibits users from uploading such content to YouTube.

The company said in a statement to the website:

YouTube’s review teams respond to videos flagged for our attention around the clock, removing any content that violates our policies. We also have stringent advertising guidelines, and work to prevent ads appearing against any video, channel or page once we determine that the content is not appropriate for our advertising partners.

A quick search for illegal copies of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel on YouTube brings up several fakes and how-to videos on movie pirating. During the phony Superman video this writer investigated, an ad for Pepsi was prominently displayed at the bottom of the clip.

Do you think YouTube should remove ads from videos featuring illegal content? Is there a way for Google to police itself more effectively?

[Image via Shutterstock.com]

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