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Digital Citizens Action Alliance

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Digital Citizens Alliance Releases New Report On Google and You Tube

Today, the Digital Citizens Alliance released a detailed report on how Google and You Tube stand to benefit when bad actors exploit the Internet.

Download a copy of the report here. Read our executive summary below.

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Since it’s inception, Google adopted the motto “Don’t be evil.”

In a letter to the public when the company went public, Google described its “don’t be evil” motto as: “We believe strongly that in the long term, we will be better served — as shareholders and in all other ways — by a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains."

Google is a great company with brilliant minds. It has demonstrated a willingness to take on huge challenges and solve major problems.

That is why it is so disconcerting to see a leading American company allowing one of its most prized platforms, YouTube, to be exploited by those selling and promoting illegal narcotics, prescription drugs without a valid prescription, knock-off merchandise, and fake IDs including driver’s license and passports.

When Google sell ads on YouTube videos promoting things like drugs, prostitution and forged documents, it has effectively become advertising partners with bad actors that make the Internet unsafe.  That is because when YouTube users click on those ads, Google’s business model is to split the ad revenue with those video producers.

It’s hard to fathom why Google would knowingly run ads tied to videos promoting unsafe and potentially dangerous activities. While we all know that the price we pay for a free and open Internet will be things we may find objectionable, we are disappointed when a great company like Google profits from them.

The Digital Citizens Alliance is focused on highlighting the challenges we face with making the Internet a safer place so we can find solutions. Given how popular YouTube is with teens and pre-teens,  this report must be an alert for parents to closely monitor their children’s usage.

By pointing out how YouTube has become overrun with thousands of potentially dangerous and harmful videos, we also call on Google to recognize the responsibility to clean it up. That is what a great company does and why Digital Citizens is optimistic that Google can live up to its motto.

 

IN THE NEWS

DEMANDING ACTION- GOOGLE PRESSURED TO PREVENT ONLINE DRUG ADS

June 18, 2013 | Fox News- Fox & Friends

“Several states are taking aim at Google and they are demanding more actions on the internet to prevent legal sales of drugs on-line. The company could be facing a major court battle…”

 

DIGITAL CITIZENS TAKE GOOGLE TO TASK OVER PROFITS FROM ILLICIT ACTIVITY

June 10, 2013 by Terry Hart | Copyright Alliance 

“Yesterday, the Digital Citizens Alliance released Google & YouTube and Evil Doers: Too Close for Comfort, a report detailing several ways in which Google profits from illicit content…”

 

GOOGLE REMOVES SOME ILLEGAL SEARCH RESULTS AS FEDERAL SCRUTINY BUILDS

June 11, 2013 by Sheila Shayon | Brand Channel

“Google has bowed to pressure initiated by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and removed ads and search results for numerous websites selling pharmaceuticals without prescriptions…”

 

HOOD: GOOGLE PULLS VIDEOS ON EVADING PRESCRIPTIONS

June 11, 2013 by Jeff Amy, Associated Press | Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

“Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood says Google appears to be removing online videos that give instructions on how to buy drugs without a prescription. Hood threatened legal action against Google last week…”

 

GOOGLE UNDER FIRE OVER ILLEGAL PRESCRIPTION MEDS

June 10, 2013 | CBS 58- Milwaukee, WI 

“A new report released Monday is asking Google to crack down on websites selling illegal prescription drugs. The report, from the Digital Citizens Alliance, said that the internet giant is promoting the sale of the drugs, without prescriptions, through Youtube.com…”

 

GOOGLE CUTS ILLEGAL DRUG SITE SEARCH ADS AND VIDEOS

June 10, 2013 by Jayne O’Donnell | USA Today

“Ads for a number of websites selling pharmaceuticals without prescriptions have disappeared from Google search results, according to Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, who warned the company last week that he believes the ads violate its 2011 settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice…”

 

GOOGLE ALLOWS ADS FOR ILLEGAL DRUGS, STATE AG SAYS

June 6, 2013 by Jayne O’Donnell and Ben Mitchell | USA Today

“Google still is allowing ads for illegal online pharmacies that sell dangerous or counterfeit drugs without a prescription, Mississippi state Attorney General Jim Hood charged Thursday. The Internet giant paid $500 million in 2011 to settle Justice Department charges over fraudulent online pharmacy ads…”

 

To learn more about Digital Citizens Alliance, and to read our study on the ease at which teens can access prescription drugs online, please click here.

Drugs Fakes Main Scams Teens   |  

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