State Attorneys General Demand Answers From Google on Why It Profits From Videos Promoting Illegal and Dangerous Acts
Washington, DC, July 2, 2013 – 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.
To read the report, go to:
To see the letter from Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to Google Senior Vice President and General Counsel Kent Walker, go to:
About Digital Citizens Alliance
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. For more information, please visit digitalcitizensalliance.org.