The Digital Citizens Alliance called on Google to stop profiting from a myriad of illegal and dangerous activities that take place on YouTube.
Those activities include the marketing of illegal prescription drugs and steroids, fake passports, stolen credit cards, and content theft.
Digital Citizens made public its investigative report, “Digital Weeds: How Google Continues to Allow Bad Actors to Flourish On YouTube.”
It shows how YouTube is still infested with hundreds of videos promoting dangerous and illegal activities – nine months after Digital Citizens first showed ads running next to some of YouTube’s most dangerous videos.
And just as troubling, both Google and the bad actors profit from advertising running along on the same YouTube page as these videos, says the Alliance.
In many of the latest examples Digital Citizens discovered, ads from some of America’s best-known companies were running next to videos pushing access to dangerous products.
“Google has to start acting like the great company they claim to be and make Internet safety a priority,” said Tom Galvin, executive director of Digital Citizens.
Digital Citizens Alliance
A Digital Citizens Alliance national survey released Monday, March 10, reinforces how the public is looking to Google to do more to protect Internet users:
The majority of Americans (57 percent) said Google should not post ads or accept ad revenue from sites that are providing illegal or illegitimate products or services.
By a 26-point margin (53 percent-27 percent) Americans don’t believe that Google is doing enough to make the Internet a safer place.
88 percent of Americans agreed with the statement “As a nearly $40 billion business, Google has a responsibility to help make the Internet safe.”
Americans don’t feel very safe online. Less than one in five (18 percent) said they feel “very safe” online, compared to 65 percent who feel “very safe” in their neighborhood, shopping at stores or walking to local parks.
Digital Citizens commissioned Axis Research to conduct the poll. Axis Research surveyed 1,006 voters by phone across the United States from Feb. 19-23, 2014; 32% of all interviews were conducted via cell phones.
Digital Citizens is a consumer-oriented coalition focused on educating the public and policy makers on the threats that consumers face on the Internet and the importance for Internet stakeholders – individuals, government and industry – to make the Web a safer place.
Based in Washington, DC, the Digital Citizens Alliance counts among its supporters: private citizens, the health, pharmaceutical and creative industries as well as online safety experts and other communities focused on Internet safety.