An investigation by 60 Minutes found more than 300 pro-Trump video ads have been removed by Google and YouTube for “violating company policy,” but said Google could give no clear reason why the clips were taken down.
60 Minutes reviewed the archive to learn more about President Trump's problematic political ads. We found that over 300 video ads were taken down by Google and YouTube, mostly over the summer, for violating company policy. But the archive doesn't detail what policy was violated. Was it copyright violation? A lie or extreme inaccuracy? Faulty grammar? Bad punctuation? It's unclear. The ads determined to be offending are not available to be screened. We found very little transparency in the transparency report.
Speaking to 60 Minutes, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki claimed the company is “trying to enforce our policies in a consistent way for everybody,” claiming, “Our systems, our algorithms, they don't have any concept of understanding what's a Democrat, what's a Republican. They don't have any concept of political bias built into them in any way.”
Despite Wojcicki’s claim, internet giants like Google and YouTube, along with social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook, have a long and well-documented history of censoring conservatives and right-leaning videos, blogs and commentary. Over the summer, the video site took down a video from James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas exposing censorship at Pinterest. The Heritage Foundation has publicly accused YouTube of censoring conservative speech, while internal communications over at Google leaked in 2018 show the company actively sought to suppress conservative views in its search results.