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Report: YouTube removed 300 Trump campaign ads for violating policy

Social media companies are under increased pressure to clamp down on political ads ahead of the 2020 election.
Photo: YouTube

WASHINGTON (WTHR) — More than 300 ads from President Donald Trump's campaign were taken down by YouTube and Google for violating company policy, according to an analysis by 60 Minutes. Most of those happened over the summer.

The report cites an interview with YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, who said details of why the ads were removed would be found in the company's transparency report. However, 60 Minutes said it could not find in the YouTube archive which policies were violated.

The archive does reveal the ads typically ran for a few days before being removed, according to 60 Minutes, a sign that their target audience was reached before the videos were taken down.

Social media companies are under intense pressure in regards to political ads ahead of the 2020 election. Some people want the platforms to reign in false advertising while others want to let free speech flow.

Twitter announced in October it was solving the problem by banning political ads outright.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has come under increased scrutiny recently after it was reported he had a private meeting with Trump. In a separate interview with CBS News, Zuckerberg would not elaborate much on what he and Trump discussed but claimed that Trump did not try to lobby him. Zuckerberg also has pushed back on demands to take down political ads that clearly have false or misleading information, indicating it would be a form of censorship.

Wojcicki reportedly said that the YouTube algorithm cannot differentiate between Democrat and Republican ads, and points out that the platform has conservative contributors as well as liberal ones.