YouTube removes offensive ads upon request by Saudi Arabia regulators

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YouTube removed certain offensive advertisements which were described as inconsistent with Islamic and Saudi societal standards upon the request of media regulators in Saudi Arabia, Arabic news media Bloomberg Asharq reported on Monday, citing a YouTube spokesperson.

A spokesperson from YouTube told the broadcaster that accounts of the advertisers who broadcasted the offensive content had been shut down.


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“Protecting society is one of the platform’s top priorities in Saudi Arabia and around the world,” the spokesperson told Bloomberg Asharq. “Last year, Google removed more than 286 million advertisements from its platform globally due to the promotion of adult content that were inconsistent with its policies, and another 125.6 million advertisements for inappropriate content.”

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia’s General Commission for Audiovisual Media (GCAM) and the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) released a statement demanding the Google-owned video-sharing platform remove the offensive advertisements.

The watchdogs warned YouTube that if the offensive content continued to be broadcast, they will take necessary legal measures against it.

“As confirmation from the General Authority for Audiovisual Media and the Communications and Information Technology Commission on the commitment of the various digital content platforms to the controls and regulations in force in the Kingdom, and based on the follow-up, it was noted that the YouTube platform (affiliated with Google) displayed advertisements directed at users in the Kingdom that included broadcasting content that conflicts with Islamic and societal values and principles and are in violation of the media content controls in the Kingdom and the policy of the YouTube platform,” the authority’s statement said.

“Accordingly, the Audiovisual Media Commission and the Communications and Information Technology Commission have requested the YouTube platform (affiliated with Google) to remove these ads and comply with the regulations, and their commitment will be monitored, and in the event that the violating content continues to be broadcast, the necessary legal measures will be taken in accordance with the two communications and audio-visual regulations.”

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