Three out of every four video ads the United Australia party has posted on YouTube since late September have been pulled by Google for allegedly violating the tech giant’s advertising policies, according to Google’s transparency report.
Since former the Liberal MP Craig Kelly joined the UAP in late August, the party has spent $2.684m on 25 ads run on YouTube, boosting the number of views on the party’s videos into the millions. The spend far outweighs the amount being spent by any other political party. The next nearest is Labor with $60,750.
It is not clear from the report what the removed videos contained or which of Google’s policies they are alleged to have violated.
Labor has previously raised concerns that the UAP was using its platform to undermine confidence in Australia’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, citing videos in which Kelly questioned the safety of Covid vaccines or promoted the drug ivermectin.
In October Labor’s shadow assistant minister for communications, Tim Watts, wrote to Google asking why the UAP was allowed to remain on YouTube given that some videos had already been removed for allegedly violating its policy. In parliament in October, Watts noted Kelly himself had said he had received one strike, and questioned why the UAP was still allowed on the platform.
“The question is: why is the member for Hughes and the UAP’s YouTube page still operating after repeatedly violating YouTube’s policies, let alone spending millions of dollars…