Is Google Facing a Federal Investigation After Monetizing Terrorists?

Google Flirting With Federal Investigation After Terror Advertising
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Google Flirting With Federal Investigation After Terror Advertising
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Niharb (CC by 2.0)

Google indirectly funded terror groups. Time for the feds to investigate?

On March 17th, The Times ran a damning article against Google.  The web giant’s DoubleClick Ad Exchange couldn’t stop advertisers’ videos from appearing on extremist and hate videos.  Top companies, including McDonald’s, L’Oreal, Toyota, and AT&T, pulled advertising on YouTube.

But did the web giant inadvertently violate US Treasury fundraising sanctions?

Following the advertising debacle, Google vowed to toughen questionable video content advertising.  The web giant’s head of Europe, Matt Brittin, said,

“You’ll have more detail from us very soon on that.  We’re working to get it right, and if we need some improvement, we will do it.”

The company has yet to give specifics on how it will toughen its fight against questionable web videos. Google may not have learned the lesson just yet.

Amazon, Adobe, and other Google-served ads appeared on a Hezbollah (or a sympathizing group) channel promoting terrorism.  In one ad, ads were found on a site promoting the use of nano-drones.  The Register confronted Google over the channel and asked the web giant whether or not ad funds went to the channel.  The company didn’t answer.

Instead, they quietly shuttered the channel.  Google only said that the channel had been “terminated for violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines.”

Question asked, question unanswered: did Google pay out any money to the terror sympathizing operators?  Based on revenue share agreement on YouTube, the operators of video channels receive money based on views. In its original report, The Times noted the following.

“The practice is likely to generate tens of thousands of pounds a month for extremists.”

Google didn’t clarify their position.  However, if Google did share revenue with terrorist operating channels, the company may have violated US Treasure terror laws.

That said, the web giant may not only face trouble here in the States.  The company’s refusal to give specifics on revenue sharing led the UK Solicitor General to issue the following warning.  The UK government may launch a criminal probe.

“There is an offense of recklessly disseminating this material, and the criminal law is there is a clear boundary beyond which they should not stray.

“I think the legislation is clear. It is my hope and expectation that these organizations will indeed come to heel and obey the law but the law is there if necessary.”

2 Responses

  1. bc

    Fake news headline, probably to just generate clicks. There is no evidence that Google is, or could, face a Federal inquiry. In fact the only hint of the law being applied in your article was specific to the European and/or UK jurisdictions. In fact, YouTube itself is more or less shielded under federal law from being held accountable to the content it hosts (within reasonable boundaries)

  2. Shit Boy

    If , Google , is in violation of indirectly funding terrorism and their videos , then the entire digital media landscape is opened up for scrutiny including the ‘ New York Times ‘ themselves along with every news station on the world wide web. The current business model is : ‘ Compelling Content ‘ and ‘ Advertisement Based Monetizing ‘. When the , FBI , visited my home and sat down in my living room , we had a brief discussion on this very issue. I told them that I go where the super stars are to get my photo ops ! JihadI John , did the beheaded–killing and I did the : ‘ Terror Poetry ‘ on his page inside my , Poetry Malls . And that I did inside the middle of a 25 million impression–hit–visit shopping scenario . . .