AT&T, Johnson & Johnson Join YouTube Boycott Over Extremist Content

AT&T and Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday joined a growing list of companies pulling their ads from YouTube over concerns Google isn’t doing enough to filter out hate speech on the video-sharing site. The boycott by the two major advertisers comes as hundreds of global brands shun Google, which owns YouTube, over ads appearing beside extremist videos on the site. A statement issued by AT&T on Wednesday said the company was “deeply concerned that our ads may have appeared alongside YouTube content promoting terrorism and hate,” The New York Times reported. The announcements follow a boycott of YouTube by major brands like Volkswagen, Toyota, and Tesco, and even the British government. The backlash comes after a report by The Times last week called attention to the fact that ads by major brands were being promoted on homophobic, misogynistic, and extremist videos. Google responded to the boycott Tuesday by vowing to take steps to prevent ads from running next to “hateful, offensive and derogatory content” on YouTube. On Wednesday, as more companies pulled advertising, Google said it had “begun an extensive review of our advertising policies” and “made a public commitment to put in place changes that give brands more control over where their ads appear.”