Cisco pulls advertisements from YouTube after CNN report over extremist content

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Cisco pulls advertisements from YouTube after CNN report over extremist content

Networking vendor Cisco Systems is pulling all online ads from YouTube due to fears of the ads appearing on sensitive content on the platform, Cisco's chief marketing officer, Karen Walker, said in a blog post on Wednesday.

Cisco said it would not like its ads to "accidentally end up in the wrong place, such as on a streaming video with sensitive content," adding that the network gear maker will continue to use YouTube as a platform to share Cisco's video content.

There was confusion over the decision after the blog seemed to have been removed from Cisco's website on Thursday, but was back up with any reference to YouTube removed.

In the original version of the blog, Walker wrote that "while Google and Facebook have made some strides to combat the issue, at this time we have pulled all online advertising from YouTube until the platform has met our standards".

Google, which owns YouTube, said it has partnered with advertisers to make changes.

"We have partnered with advertisers to make significant changes to how we approach monetisation on YouTube with stricter policies, better controls and greater transparency. We are committed to continuing this dialogue and getting this right," a Google spokesperson told Reuters.

Cisco's action follows a CNN report in April that said ads from more than 300 companies, including Cisco, ran on extremist channels on YouTube.

The companies may have unknowingly helped finance some of these channels through the advertisements they paid for YouTube, according to the CNN report.

Cisco did not respond to a request seeking comment on the blog's removal from its website.

YouTube said in a report released last month that it had deleted about 5 million videos from its platform for content policy violations in last year's fourth quarter before any viewers saw them.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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