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Homework answers / question archive / Google Losing Revenue in Dispute over Placement of Ads Google AdWords is an advertising service for companies who want their ads presented on the pool of over 2 million websites that constitute the Google Display Network

Google Losing Revenue in Dispute over Placement of Ads Google AdWords is an advertising service for companies who want their ads presented on the pool of over 2 million websites that constitute the Google Display Network

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Google Losing Revenue in Dispute over Placement of Ads
Google AdWords is an advertising service for companies who want their ads presented on the pool of over 2 million websites that constitute the Google Display Network. Google ads are bought and placed online using an automated system called programmatic advertising that finds appropriate websites on which to place each ad. Placement depends on such factors as key- words used in the ads and the interests and demographics of the target audience.
YouTube was bought by Google for $1.7 billion in November 2006. Today, YouTube has over a billion active users and everyday people spend hundreds of millions of hours watching video on YouTube. Such massive viewership has made it a key member of the Google Display Network.
YouTube’s popularity stems from its massive and diverse library of video spanning every- thing from amateur video clips of kittens to professionally produced TV clips. While this diversity is a huge asset for Google, it has also forced the company to defend the placement of ads alongside objectionable content, including videos promoting anti-Semitism, heterosexism, miso- gynism, racism, and terrorism. Companies advertising on YouTube are concerned that such placement creates the impression that they support pornography or hate speech. And because YouTube splits advertising revenue with its users, advertisers risk directly funding creators of this objectionable material. Those who post videos can earn up to $7.60 for each 1,000 views that an advertisement attracts. Some of the most viewed extremist clips on YouTube receive nearly one million hits. Major brands such as AT&T, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oreal, McDonald’s, and Verizon have begun withholding ad dollars saying that they can no longer advertise on YouTube until Google can ensure that this won’t happen again. The financial hit to Google from the boycott is significant—estimated at as high as $750 million.
With some 400 hours of user-generated content uploaded to YouTube every minute, Goo- gle has asserted that it simply does not have the resources to police that flood of content in real time. As a result, inappropriate and offensive content continues to be posted. This has advertisers, who place a high priority on protecting their brands, increasingly concerned. Goo- gle’s efforts to solve the problem include the hiring of “significant numbers” of new workers to review YouTube content and flag inappropriate content as well as making an ongoing invest- ment in artificial intelligence that the company hopes will help it fine-tune its ad placement ser- vice. Google has considerable incentive to resolve the concerns of advertisers as ad system sales brought in more than $79 billion in revenue to the company in 2016.

 

 

 

Critical Thinking Questions
1. Should Google take a more active approach in censoring its content providers? If it does, is it possible that Google could run afoul of Title II of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and lose its legal immunity for the actions of its users?
2. How might Google deploy advanced technologies to identify content that is objectionable?
3. Can/should Google provide advertisers with guarantees about what type of content their ads will appear next to? How could such guarantees be written so that they are enforceable?

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