More than 300 President Donald Trump ads were pulled from YouTube and Google, which owns YouTube, for unspecified violations of “company policy,” CBS News reports. Most of the ads were pulled over the summer.
In an interview with “60 Minutes” host Leslie Stahl, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki admitted that the platform had removed several ads, though she declines to provide specifics. Instead, she pointed Stahl to the company’s “transparency report,” an archive of ads the platform has pulled.
The archive revealed that YouTube had removed scores of Trump ads. However, there was no full explanation in the archive about why the ads were pulled.
One possible reason for pulling ads from Google and YouTube is the use of copyrighted music. As reported previously by The Inquisitr, this has been an issue for Trump on Twitter, resulting in songs being removed at least twice from tweets. The ads could also have contained lies or extreme inaccuracies, speculated CBS News.
Whatever the reason or reasons, it appears that it will remain known only to YouTube.
“We found very little transparency in the transparency report,” the news service reported.
What the archive does reveal, however, is how long the ads were up, how much Google was paid for the ad, and how many “impressions” — that is, likes, shares and comments — they made. Most of the Trump ads were up for a couple of days before being pulled.
The move comes as social media outlets are facing scrutiny over their handling of political ads.
On the one hand, the platforms are facing pressure to avoid being conduits for propagating false or misleading information, particularly in light of allegations that Russian actors used YouTube, and other social media outlets, to illegally influence the 2016 election.
On the other hand, however, policing ads and removing them could be seen as a politically-biased move.
It’s a dichotomy that’s not lost on Wojcicki, who has faced accusations that YouTube discriminates against conservatives. However, she said that YouTube’s algorithms are not politically-biased.
“Our systems, our algorithms, they don’t have any concept of understanding what’s a Democrat, what’s a Republican. They don’t have any concept of political bias built into them in any way,” she said.
Further, she noted that several successful YouTube creators are conservatives and that liberals have complained of bias because some pro-left ads have been removed as well.
“No matter who you are, we are trying to enforce our policies in a consistent way for everybody,” Wojcicki said.