According to a report by CBS News’ 60 Minutes, more than 300 of President Donald Trump’s political ads have been removed by Google and its video platform YouTube, with most of this activity taking place over the summer.
‘We found very little transparency in the transparency report’
CBS reporters could not find specific reasons why the tech giants decided to take down these Trump ads, which is not unusual for social media companies, who are known to be rather coy about explaining their actions, particularly concerning censorship.
“We found very little transparency in the transparency report,” 60 Minutes noted.
SERIOUSLY! THEY TAKE DOWN AN AD AFTER IT'S ALREADY BEEN PAID FOR?
Somebody needs to make this right. https://t.co/SqQVkb3syT
— Victoria Lee (@makingithappent) December 2, 2019
CBS began to investigate the matter when YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki gave an interview in which she highlighted her company’s decision to ban some of the President’s ads.
CBS News reported, “60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl asked Wojcicki, ‘Have you taken down any of President Trump’s ads at all?’ YouTube’s CEO responded, ‘There are ads of President Trump that were not approved to run on Google or YouTube.’ When pressed for an example, Wojcicki added, ‘Well, they’re available in our transparency report.”
“In response to concerns raised after the 2016 election cycle, Google and YouTube, like Facebook, keep a searchable archive of political ads that have run on the site,” CBS News continued.
“60 Minutes reviewed the archive to learn more about President Trump’s problematic political ads,” the report noted. “We found that over 300 video ads were taken down by Google and YouTube, mostly over the summer, for violating company policy.”
Here we go again. Shame on Google & Youtube. Glad I stopped using google years ago. https://t.co/03wNEcdZ1O
— David Watson (@dww24) December 2, 2019
Trump and GOP Condemn
“But the archive doesn’t detail what policy was violated. Was it copyright violation? A lie or extreme inaccuracy? Faulty grammar? Bad punctuation? It’s unclear,” CBS News observed. “The ads determined to be offending are not available to be screened. We found very little transparency in the transparency report. “
Both the Republican Party and Team Trump have condemned Google’s recent changes regarding political ads, calling them a “blatant attempt to suppress voter information” ahead of the upcoming presidential election.