Google is still showing mask ads next to coronavirus stories after


Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, speaks at the Council on Overseas Relations on June 17, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Mark Wilson | Getty Photographs

Times following Google promised to take out ads for clinical facial area masks, promotions are still showing up up coming to on the internet content relevant to the coronavirus, much to the ire of U.S. lawmakers.

Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sent a letter to Federal Trade Fee Chairman Joseph J. Simons on Tuesday, criticizing Google for continuing to serve ads subsequent to tales about COVID-19 on several websites. Federal health officials have continuously told the general public to refrain from getting masks so they can be reserved for individuals who need them, like overall health-care employees responding to the crisis.

“Google has produced recurring representations to people that its policies prohibit adverts for products these kinds of as protecting masks,” the letter claimed. “Still the organization appears not to be taking even rudimentary actions to implement that policy.” 

The senators claimed that their staffers were being ready to locate a quantity of ads, served by Google, for masks on information sites together with tales about the coronavirus. On Wednesday, CNBC uncovered added mask promotions from other on-line advert corporations, such as Teads, RTB Household, Criteo, Outbrain and Fb Viewers Network, showing in or around stories pertaining to the coronavirus. 

Google explained to CNBC previous week that it was briefly banning health care facial area mask ads, and explained it would choose a number of days to take away them. Numerous days before, Facebook said it was temporarily banning ads and commerce listings offering healthcare deal with masks.

A Google spokesperson mentioned in a assertion that it has blocked “hundreds of thousands of adverts that tried to capitalize on coronavirus” and “implemented a short-term ban on all health-related encounter mask advertisements.” 

An Outbrain consultant stated the corporation recently “strengthened its international advertiser suggestions to address advertisements selling or implying the rewards of facemasks as a avoidance or get rid of for the coronavirus.” She claimed that Outbrain’s recommendations “do not make it possible for for clinical mask adverts of any sort on our network” and that “any advertiser that tries to bypass our rules we will actively tackle and take out.”

The other companies failed to right away responded to requests for remark. 

In addition to screen adverts, CNBC found examples of sponsored browsing listings for products and solutions that claim to reduce coronavirus, which Google has mentioned are not authorized.

The speedy spread of COVID-19 is creating a major problem for on the web advertisement firms that have been heavily criticized in current a long time for letting the distribute of misinformation, largely similar to political problems and elections. 

YouTube mentioned on Monday that, in removing videos that violate firm policies, it will be relying a lot more on technological know-how to aid with work ordinarily performed by human reviewers. That could lead to an maximize in the quantity of content taken down. YouTube also mentioned it will use a lot more automation for content material moderation.

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