ADL Statement on Brands' Ads on YouTube's Extremist Channels

New York, NY, April 20, 2018 ... The following is a statement from Brittan Heller, director of ADL’s Center for Technology and Society, in response to a CNN report that found retail brands’ advertising running on YouTube channels promoting white nationalists, Nazis, pedophiles and other extremist views.

It's unfortunate but not surprising to see this type of hateful content appear in this way on YouTube. This is an ongoing problem with the lack of understanding in terms of how YouTube functions as a platform, and the ways in which advertising on it works. Organizations should not find themselves unknowingly financing white nationalists, Nazis, and conspiracy-based propagandists.

We call on YouTube and other platforms to better explain to the public why this is a recurring issue and how their technology developed to the point where a shoe ad appearing on a Nazi video is a regular occurrence.


ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of antisemitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of antisemitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.

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