YouTube Users Can Limit Gambling Ads, More Options Forthcoming from Google

Posted on: December 11, 2020, 02:39h. 

Last updated on: December 11, 2020, 11:31h.

Social media giant Google will give users an option to limit gambling ads they can view. The move starts with its YouTube division.

Google says it prioritizes transparency
Google CEO Sundar Pichai pictured above. His company will let users limit the number of gambling ads they can view. (Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The new feature begins with YouTube ads in the US. It is likely to be offered worldwide for Google Ads and YouTube in early 2021.

It applies to all gambling and alcohol ads. But those nations with legal restrictions on gambling or alcohol marketing will not see changes.

We’ve heard feedback that some people would prefer to limit ads in certain categories like alcohol, so … we’re launching a new control in Ad Settings, enabling people to see fewer alcohol ads, with gambling as an additional option,” said Debbie Weinstein, vice president, YouTube and Video Global Solutions, in an online company statement on Thursday.

Google users could previously hide specific ads through a mute option. But individuals could not limit categories of ads.

The new option does not eliminate all alcohol or gaming ads. It just limits them.

“With a click of a button, you can choose to see fewer gambling and alcohol ads. It is also reversible; should you change your mind, you can click to see such ads again,” Weinstein said.

Google Says It Prioritizes ‘Transparency’

“Building tools that provide transparency and control has always been a top priority for us, and over the years, we’ve empowered people to shape their ads experience through user controls,” Weinstein claimed in the post.

In 2019, reported how another social media giant, Facebook, had gambling ads allegedly targeting children.

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) also partnered with Facebook in September to reduce gambling-related content that is shown to at-risk adults, such as problem gamblers, on the social media platform.

Google Criticized by Trump Supporters

The latest move by Google follows attacks on the company by supporters of President Donald Trump. Supporters say the media sites unfairly posted information on the recent presidential campaign. Critics said postings favorable to Joe Biden were allowed, but not ones that were negative about Biden.  Supporters also criticized Twitter and Facebook.

Critics also claim negative postings on Trump were included in the social media sites. More positive stories on Trump often were not seen on the sites, critics add.

Engadget, a technology news site, reported this week that YouTube says it will remove videos from its site which challenge the 2020 presidential election results. Google said, that since September, it banned over 8,000 channels and “thousands” of videos for “harmful and misleading” claims, Engadget added.

Google Removes Political Ads Ban

In addition, this week Google told advertisers that starting on Thursday, it was eliminating its ban on political ads that went into effect after polls closed on Nov. 3, according to Axios, a US-based news site.

But Google said it will continue to “rigorously enforce” ad policies, “which strictly prohibit demonstrably false information that could significantly undermine trust in elections or the democratic process, among other forms of abuse.”

In October, Republican Senators alleged Facebook, Google, and Twitter censored conservatives under the name of content moderation, Roll Call, a US political news site, reported.

For instance, Sen. Marsha Blackburn, (R-Tenn.), asked Google CEO Sundar Pichai during a Senate committee hearing whether the social media giant still employed Blake Lemoine, an engineer who criticized her online. Pichai told the Senator he did not know.