Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL) - Get Report Google said Tuesday that it intends to go on a hiring spree to combat extremist content after an outcry from British advertisers against the world's biggest technology company.
Google said it will also increase safeguards for advertisers allowing them to choose what content their ads appear alongside following complaints from British firms about the proliferation of extremist content on the company's platforms, including YouTube.
Bluechip U.K. companies including Tesco (TSCDY) and Sainsbury's (JSAIY) have pulled advertising from Google after it was revealed that their ads were being shown alongside videos from Britain's far right English Defence League and the Ku Klux Klan.
Marks & Spencer (MAKSY) , McDonald's (MCD) - Get Report , L'Oreal (LRLCY) , HSBC (HSBC) - Get Report , Lloyds (LYG) - Get Report and Volkswagen's (VLKAY) Audi are also among the companies that have pulled advertising in the U.K.
Britain is the second largest market for Google after the U.S., generating $7.8 billion primarily from advertising in 2016.
In the coming days and months Google will change its default setting for ads "so that they show on content that meets a higher level of brand safety and excludes potentially objectionable content that advertisers may prefer not to advertise against," Google Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler said in a statement on Tuesday.
It will also introduce new account-level controls that makes it easier for advertisers to exclude specific sites and channels. "In addition, we'll introduce new controls to make it easier for brands to exclude higher risk content and fine-tune where they want their ads to appear," Schindler said.
The company will also offer more transparency and visibility to advertisers and agencies on where their ads are running, offering video-level reporting.
Starting from today, he added, Google will take a tougher stance on hateful, offensive and derogatory content and remove ads more effectively from content that is attacking or harassing people based on their race, religion, gender of similar categories.
The company will also hire "significant numbers of people" to review questionable content and also use artificial intelligence to identify such content.
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