Media companies make a lot of their money through allowing companies to advertise on their sites and to their users. Recently, The Guardian and the BBC, among other British news outlets, pulled their ads from Google and YouTube because their ads were displayed alongside those that displayed offensive content. The Guardian reported that its ads were displayed next to white nationalists and other controversial groups.
Google uses AdX to place their ads, an automated program that uses a variety of algorithms. British media outlets say they have high expectations of Google, and that they need to be sure they are socially responsible, since they have such a large and diverse following. Senior Google executive, Roman Harris, admitted that Google needs to improve upon its ad content and placement.
When companies let issues like this fall through the cracks, they risk their entire business. At a time of racially-motivated social unrest, Google needs to do everything in its power to ensure their ad space contains no offensive or racist content. After all, Google’s advertisers keep the site going, and without the ads, Google will surely lose its spot as a media and technology giant.