Well, this is probably going to be a controversial topic that's why first I thought forget it, but then I thought because all the news outlets showing one side of the story and completely avoiding the other side. So someone needs recap the other side of the story as well, so that normal people can understand what's going on.
OK, before I start let me be clear. I will try my best to be as neutral as possible. And all I want to do is to point out few points that arise from actions of few big companies.
As you probably already know that many companies started boycotting to advertise with Google, and reasons are they have seen some of their ads showing up alongside "hateful, offensive and derogatory" video contents on YouTube.
"The spreading corporate boycott, which began in the UK after revelations in The Times, threatens to dent Google's multi-billion dollar ad revenue.
It has already seen big companies including Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Volkswagen, L'Oreal, RBS, HSBC and Lloyds suspending ads, as well as the UK Government.
Google has apologised and said it would step up its efforts to block ads on "hateful, offensive and derogatory" videos." [rf1]
OK, First question is who will decide what video is hateful, offensive and so on?
If you say government, then one government can't make rules for whole world, can it? Different people in different countries got different rules and laws. How can one enforce their laws to other people living in another country? Well, all they can do is block the video url for that specific country if they don't think that video is right for them and their citizens.
And if you say let's decide the companies, then it will be all messed up. What if a video is hateful, offensive and extremist to one company and completely normal for other company. It is most likely that not every company will agree with a decision which has been taken by another.
If you say let people decide then. well, that is difficult too, because if a channel has large number subscribers then most of them will like what ever video the creator posts. That's why you will see channel like "How to basic" getting millions of views and hundreds of thousands likes on each video, Although I've never seen a useful video on that channel. So how can you tell what is extremist and what is not?
Well, ultimately the responsibility comes to Google, because it has granted the creators to open a channel and post videos. But even Google has to think twice to consider a video to be extremist, hateful, offensive and derogatory. Because Google has to think about the people's (whole world) mind set the companies, publishers and the government laws of each country. So if just one country can't control its citizens what they can watch or can't block the videos or extreme type on contents to be accessed in their own country then how is it possible for Google to control that in worldwide?
Google still has apologised and said it would step up its efforts to block ads on "hateful, offensive and derogatory" videos. But companies still boycotting Google.
What happens if it is extreme content according to everyone?
OK, until now I just talked about who can decide or how can someone define which content is extreme. And now let's talk about what happens if it is extreme content according to everyone, which rarely happens.
According to bbc "An advert appearing alongside a video earns the poster about £6 for every 1,000 clicks it generates, meaning brands may have unwittingly contributed money to extremists." [rf2]
So these companies thinks that if their ads show few times along side a video then that makes them supporting them (video uploaders) although the amount is almost nothing.
Do you know how hard it is to generate 1,000 clicks? First of all if the video is really hateful, offensive and derogatory or what ever you say. It will ether get less views therefor even less clicks or it would get deleted by YouTube anyway if it's that bad. So to get 1,000 valid clicks, (yes valid clicks, Google makes clicks valid only if the the person clicks on on the ad and stays on the the site for long period of time. So that video might take years to make few pounds, because not every channel is like BBC. And another thing is that your ad might have showed few times, that means the video probably didn't even make a penny.
So we can see few points here:
1. "The video uploaders are not earning in pounds but they earning in pennies". As Google's European chief, Matthew Brittin said in the video 1:13. And that's because to earn money on YouTube is very hard as I've already explained above, plus YouTube don't show ads of one advertiser to one video only. It gets divided and showed in different videos. That means your ads are shown along side good videos most of the times.
2. If few pennies goes to disputed extreme content creator does it consider as a supporter of extremist? If that is right then why is Toyota is not banned all over the world or at least in the western countries, because as we all can see in news all the time that ISIS's favorite vehicle made by Toyota. And no one will deny that. So are you going to say that Toyota is supporting them? And I'm sure people can't buy those vehicles with few pennies or pounds. So why can't you say Toyota is supporter of ISIS although they are getting so much benefit from those vehicles plus they are well known terrorists to all and you crying about few penny on something disputed.
Here is one video by Philip DeFranco explaining little bit about this issue, you might have to watch full video because he talked about other stuffs as well. Or you can watch these two portions at 2:53 and 12:42 at least.
* [rf1] US firms pull ads from Google as boycott over hate videos grows
* [rf2] Google apologises after ads appear next to extremist content