After viewing a series of videos promoting dangerous activities such as the sale of illegal drugs, fraudulent passports and sex trafficking on YouTube, Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt asked YouTube’s parent company, Google, to provide more information on how much the company has profited from videos. Digital Citizens Alliance Executive Director Tom Galvin, who presented a detailed report to the National Association of Attorneys General on YouTube last month, made the following remarks after the letter was released:
“Google has allowed thousands of videos to exist on YouTube that offer drugs, prostitution, forged passports, counterfeits and content theft. Worse, they have profited from them by running ads in conjunction with these videos. Hopefully, the attorneys general will be able to get answers others have failed to get. Namely why such an important, otherwise great company is putting profit over the safety of Internet users. When Google finally takes steps to ensure these dangerous videos are gone for good from YouTube, the Internet will be a safer place.”
Digital Citizens released a report in June that demonstrated numerous examples of videos on YouTube that promoted the sale of prescription drugs such as Oxycontin, Percocet and Tramadol. In addition, the report, entitled, “Google, YouTube and Evildoers: Too Close for Comfort,” demonstrated how bad actors promoted the sale of forged passports and drivers licenses, escort services and prostitution, counterfeits and content theft.