Spring has sprung and April is on the horizon. There has been plenty to get our teeth into in March. Here’s some of the big talking points amongst the pack in the last few weeks.
Google found themselves in hot water in March, leading to a huge loss in revenue as they inadvertently advertised products on extremist websites.
This has outraged many companies leading to 250 UK based businesses boycotting the service as well as some heavy hitting deserters in the US. AT&T, Verizon, Enterprise and GlaxoSmithKline all withdrawing non-search advertising from Google.
The problem being, that as brands appeared next to YouTube content by radical clerics, their advertising spend would generate revenue for its creators. They could then be accused of funding terrorist activity.
All of this, resulted in some vocal condemnation of Google’s mistake and left them with one big mess to clear up.
YouTube Restricted Filters
YouTube got it wrong in March managing to offend a huge proportion of the LGBTQ community with their restricted content filters.
The issue arose when high-profile YouTuber Connor Franta, amongst others, noticed a number of videos we’re subsequently hidden when YouTube’s restricted filters were applied.
This sent the dangerous message that LBGTQ content is not child friendly, and that they should not be watching or listening to it.
YouTube were quick to comment that it was a mistake and that the content had been incorrectly labelled. But not before the story travelled the nation and the damage was done.
Free Speech and Open Media
In-light of the recent attacks in Westminster, images of the injured were shared online by high profile news sites.
This raised the question, what should and should not be shared on social media? And where should we draw the line between the responsibility to report facts and the need to respect privacy.
Social media is a wonderful tool for a number of reasons, but is also extremely dangerous. The images shared on Twitter in the immediate aftermath of the attacks were uncensored and potentially extremely distressing for many people.
It will be interesting to see throughout April how the PR departments at Google and YouTube handle their respective crises.