Google removes ads with interrogations after Tsikhanouskaya’s request

Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya recently sent a letter to the executive director of Google with a request to deal with the abuse of YouTube by Lukashenka’s regime and law enforcement agencies. She cited the example of more than 40 ads with the interrogation of political prisoners and confessions on camera. The American company responded to the appeal.

Alyaksandr Bahdanau in the “penitential” video. Screenshot: zheltyeslivy / Telegram

At the suggestion of members of the Coordinating Council, as well as the families of political prisoners, Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya appealed to the executive director of Google on December 21 to draw attention to the abuse of the YouTube service by security forces, on which they advertise videos with interrogations of political prisoners.

Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya drew attention to the fact that the forced testimony is qualified as torture under the UN Convention against Torture. She urged Google to take measures to stop the demonstration of such videos.

Google Vice President Karan Bhatia responded to Tsikhanouskaya. He said that all the named advertisements have been removed and that the accounts that posted them will not be able to place propaganda ads in the future:

“We have removed the commercials that you noted for violating our rules. We have restricted these advertising accounts from displaying any additional ads and will implement automated rules to proactively mark any new ads that are created and include in them violating landing pages and/or violating videos that we have already seen. This means that any newly created ads pointing to the same landing pages or videos will not appear on our platforms”.

Also, a Google representative offered to arrange a meeting with Tsikhanouskaya’s team so that a similar situation would not arise in the future.