Google, YouTube removed more than 300 Trump campaign ads: report

Google and YouTube have taken down hundreds of video advertisements for President Trump in recent months, CBS News’s “60 Minutes” reports.

In a review of the tech giant’s advertising archives, the newsmagazine found that more than 300 video advertisements for the president had been removed, primarily during the summer, for violating policies. 

When pressed during a sit-down interview on whether Trump ads had been removed, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said that there were “ads of President Trump that were not approved to run on Google or YouTube.”

She told longtime “60 Minutes” correspondent Lesley Stahl that the ads are “available in our transparency report.”

Wojcicki was also pressed about a controversial ad that has been run on Facebook by Trump’s reelection campaign.

That ad presents unfounded accusations that former Vice President Joe Biden offered military aid to Ukraine in exchange for the firing of a prosecutor that was investigating a company tied to his son Hunter. His campaign asked Facebook earlier this year to remove the ad, but the social media powerhouse denied the request. 

“Facebook is facing a lot of controversy because it refuses to take down a President Trump ad about Biden which is not true. Would you run that ad?” correspondent Lesley Stahl asked Wojcicki.

“So that is an ad that right now would not be a violation of our policies,” Wojcicki responded.

“Is it on YouTube right now?” Stahl asked.

“It has been on YouTube,” the YouTube CEO responded.

“Can a politician lie on YouTube?” Stahl pressed.

“For every single video, I think it’s really important to look at it,” Wojcicki responded. “Politicians are always accusing their opponents of lying. That said, it’s not OK to have technically manipulated content that would be misleading.”

“For example, there was a video uploaded of Nancy Pelosi,” she continued referring to a doctored video of the Speaker that went viral in the summer. “It was slowed down just enough that it was unclear whether or not she was in her full capacity because she was speaking in a slower voice.”

“The title of the video actually said drunk, had that in the title. And we removed that video,” Wojcicki added.

Stahl also pressed on accusations made by conservatives that social media platforms are biased against them.

“Well, first of all, there are lots of very successful conservative creators on YouTube,” Wojcicki responded.

“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. And we do hear this criticism from all sides.” 

“We also have people who come from more liberal backgrounds who complain about discrimination. And so I think that no matter who you are, we are trying to enforce our policies in a consistent way for everybody,” Wojcicki added.

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Written by Alan Smith

Alan Smith

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