YouTube ran ads from major brands on hate channels: report

YouTube ran ads from major brands on hate channels: report
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Ads from over 300 organizations, including prominent brands like Adidas, Amazon and Facebook, appeared on YouTube channels promoting white nationalists, Nazis, pedophilia, conspiracy theories and North Korean propaganda, according to CNN.

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Other companies whose ads reportedly appeared on extremist content include Cisco, Hershey, Hilton, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Netflix , Nordstrom and Under Armour. Such companies may have unwittingly contributed money to such hate groups, as Google-owned YouTube pays money to many of its content creators.

The U.S. government may have contributed as well. CNN found that ads from five US government agencies, including the Department of Transportation and Centers for Disease Control, appeared on the channels promoting such content.

At least one company that CNN contacted, Under Armour, has pulled its ads from the site as a result of the news outlet's findings.

"We have strong values-led guidelines in place and are working with YouTube to understand how this could have slipped through the guardrails. We take these matters very seriously and are working to rectify this immediately," a spokesperson for Under Armour said.

Others the outlet contacted said that they were not aware that their ads were appearing alongside hate and pro-pedophilia content.

YouTube has previously dealt with controversy over its ads appearing alongside extremist, pro-terrorism content.

Last year many major companies pulled their ads from the platform after learning that they were appearing alongside videos promoting ISIS and other terrorist groups.

YouTube has since cracked down on extremist videos and hate speech on YouTube and demonetized many videos, barring any ads from showing up on certain types of controversial content.

"We have partnered with our advertisers to make significant changes to how we approach monetization on YouTube with stricter policies, better controls and greater transparency," a YouTube spokeswoman said in a statement to CNN.

"When we find that ads mistakenly ran against content that doesn't comply with our policies, we immediately remove those ads. We know that even when videos meet our advertiser-friendly guidelines, not all videos will be appropriate for all brands. But we are committed to working with our advertisers and getting this right," she added.