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YouTube’s hate speech problem is scaring off advertisers

(Image: YouTube)

AT&T has announced that it’s pulling ads from YouTube, thanks to worries that its commercials might end up running next to a video of some guy in a fedora and a Sonic The Hedgehog T-shirt preaching that his tens of subscribers should rise up and wipe out all the Jews. Per Deadline, a number of companies have recently gotten concerned about both the rise of racist, fascist, and other bad-ist content on the Google-owned video host, and the algorithms that could potentially stick their names and products right next to white nationalists or other hate-and-terrorism-associated groups.

AT&T is just the latest big company to fish its name out of YouTube’s increasingly cesspool-like waters, following in the footsteps of Volkswagen, Toyota, and Heinz. Companies have very little control over what videos their spots run alongside on the service, meaning it’s up to Google and YouTube—which recently promised to step in and more harshly moderate both ad-supported and free content uploaded to it—to properly police things, lest Coca-Cola find itself advertising with “Carl’s Whites-Only Soda Review,” or whatever other god-awful nonsense rests at the bottom of the digital mire.


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