MPs are urging tech giants, including Amazon, Facebook and Google-owned YouTube, to shape up or risk being boycotted from major advertising deals from global brands.
Advertisers ‘must shun sites that aid extremists’ according to an ongoing investigative report in The Times this week.
In particular, YouTube, which is owned by Google, has been accused of regularly promoting videos posted by hate preachers, rape apologists and extremists, claims The Times’ reporting team.
Facebook, Google and Amazon accused
MPs that are part of the government’s intelligence and security committee said that the “scandal” of such major tech companies as Google and Facebook turning a blind eye to extremist content online was a “disgrace” and had been a factor that had directly led to attacks including the Manchester bombing,
Terrorist Salman Abedi, the attacker responsible for that horrific attack on pop concert at Manchester Arena in May 2017, watched a YouTube video to learn how to make a bomb and bought the necessary ingredients on Amazon.
Major global brands such as Unilever were championed by ministers for their overt strategy to pull considerable amounts of advertising cash from tech companies they saw as responsible for publishing such incendiary material online.
Last year’s Times investigation initially revealed that YouTube was guilty of publishing videos promoting hate preachers, rape apologists and extremists. And that Facebook had refused to remove potentially illegal terrorist material, even after being made aware that it was published on their platform.
A Matter of Scandal!
Over 250 brands — including Toyota, Johnson & Johnson and McDonald’s — pulled their ads from YouTube, as a direct result of that investigative report into the publishing of inappropriate content on the Google-owned video channel.
Dominic Grieve, chairman of the intelligence committee, noted that this was still an ongoing “matter of scandal”.
“We recommend pressure is put on the communications service providers [CSPs] by the business community following the excellent example of companies such as Unilever,” said Mr Grieve.
“We strongly consider that actions which affect the CSPs’ profits will hit home harder than an appeal to them to do the right thing. It might actually force them finally to take action on this critical issue, which is frankly a disgrace.”
The damning report explains how tech companies will only really be changed by commercial activity that hits their bottom line.
All of which doesn’t really hold out a lot of hope for the many recently mooted attempts at “regulating” tech giants such as Facebook, Google and Amazon!
Via The Times