UPDATE 2/08/18: Another commenter states that the racist, hateful rhetoric on the /pol/ board of 4chan exists all over the site. He says it’s no longer contained to one small section, and 4chan has generally turned into a recruitment tool for white supremacists. Check out his comment here.
UPDATE 10/16/17: How-to for the Facebook Audience Network now added! See the end of the blog post for how to do this.
UPDATE 8/23/17: After Charlottesville we’ve had even more comments and emails. We’re happy to post comments we disagree with, as long as they don’t a) tell us that we or the people we defend should die, disappear, and suffer because we don’t want to advertise on alt-right and/or white supremacist websites, and b) use slurs to describe us and the people we defend. We also advise you to read the entire blog post for clarity, which many folks don’t seem to have done.
UPDATE 8/14/17: We’ve added screenshots for how to do this in the new Adwords dashboard, which Google hasn’t rolled out to everyone yet. We’ll show you how to apply these exclusions across your account, rather than making a specific list.
UPDATE 7/17/17: A commenter to the site points out that most of 4chan isn’t alt-right: much of the misogynist and hateful rhetoric is contained to a specific board. See comment here.
UPDATE 6/26/17: We’ve had an amazing amount of positive feedback on this post. Thank you! As we mention in the article, some of these sites we found through Media Bias / Fact Check, and if you’re interested in excluding all websites on the right, left, and in the middle (is there a middle any more?) who peddle conspiracy theories and “fake news,” check it out here.
New Why is anti-sexist, anti-anti-semitism, anti-racist, anti-Islamaphobia, and pro-equality, and we are committed to ensuring that what we do in the world and with our business reflects those core values. As a company that runs online advertising, we’re faced with the responsibility to vet where we advertise so that we’re not supporting organizations who promote sexist, racist, xenophobic, and homophobic agendas.
A couple months ago an organization called Sleeping Giants reached out to let us know one of our ads appeared on a white supremacist / alt-right website. Because display ads target people based on interests, keywords, location, and demographics, they are automatically served on a variety of websites who participate in Google Adsense. We generally don’t choose specific websites to advertise on, since there are thousands that are applicable. We let Google choose those for us in order to reach the right people (but Google can get a lot of stuff wrong).
Adsense is a program that allows website owners to sell ad space on their websites, which Google then populates with advertising like ours. White supremacist websites still use Adsense, and Google doesn’t yet ban them from doing so. Since Google won’t ban them, we need to go in and blacklist them in Google Adwords so that we’re not inadvertently giving money to these organizations.
When we talk about White Supremacy, we’re not just talking about organizations like the KKK, which would fall into the top two sections of the pyramid below; we also want to address the bottom two sections of this pyramid, which include behaviors exhibited on most of these websites.
Below you’ll find our preliminary list of websites that have a history of racism, sexism, anti-LGBTQIA bias, xenophobia, etc. Not all these websites are necessarily white supremacist; they also may be sexist and/or anti-LGBTQI. Also, some of these sites may not actually participate in Adsense right now / yet, but it can’t hurt to throw them on there just in case.
A List of White Supremacist / Alt-Right / Sexist Websites
Just copy and paste this into an exclusions list. And if you don’t know how to add these to Google Adwords, then see my screenshots below. If you know of any other sites that espouse supremacist views, please let us know so that we can add them to this list! This list is and will be crowd sourced, so if you’re uncertain you can always research these individually. Check back regularly to see if it’s changed; I’ll write UPDATE: [date] at the top of the post each time it’s updated. Or, if you want us to email you each time it’s updated, fill out the contact form at the bottom of the post.
How to Exclude White Supremacist / Alt-Right Websites from Google Adwords
STEP ONE, Old Layout:
While you don’t have to do it from your Display Network tab, you might as well open that up, since that’s where this matters. Then, in the left sidebar choose “Shared Library.”
STEP ONE, New Layout:
Click on the three little settings buttons at the top of your dashboard. UPDATE: Instead of dots this may look like a gear icon.
STEP TWO, Old Layout:
Go to “Campaign placement exclusions” and click View.
STEP TWO, New Layout:
Under Shared Library, click on “Account placement exclusions.”
STEP THREE, Old Layout:
Now what you’re going to do is create a new list.
STEP THREE, New Layout:
Click the red +Add button, then copy the list from this email and paste it in.
STEP FOUR, Old Layout:
You can name this list whatever you like, but make sure it clearly states what it’s about. I wouldn’t name it something like “Bad Kittens,” though maybe that would be kind of cool. After you’ve named your list, paste the above sites into the placements box. Note: you do not need to include http / https. Then hit save.
FINAL STEP, New Layout:
Click save, and these websites are excluded from your advertising for all of your campaigns, account wide. Yay!
STEP FIVE, Old Layout:
Now you need to apply the list to your campaigns, otherwise the list just sits there and doesn’t do anything. First check the box next to your list, then click “Apply to campaigns.”
Then go ahead and click on the arrow next to Campaigns: [#]. You don’t want any of your campaigns to appear on these sites, so there’s no need to cherry pick.
Now that you’ve got those selected, click save.
STEP SIX, Old Layout:
Now check and make sure that the number of campaign column correctly reflects the number of campaigns you have. And you’re all set!
Blocking Websites from Facebook’s Audience Network
If you run ads through Facebook, you may be advertising through their Audience Network without realizing it. Sometimes the Audience Network has a better CTR than Facebook or Instagram, so you don’t necessarily want to exclude the entire Audience Network. You can, however, block these same sites there as well as on Adwords.
Start by going here: https://www.facebook.com/ads/manager/blocklists/list/. Then, upload this .txt file for Alt-right exclusions. You need to make sure to select this list whenever you create a new ad group.
When you first create a new campaign, you can go to “Placements” right away.
Next, select Edit Placements and click Ad Set Block Lists.
Finally, browse and choose the .txt file you just uploaded.
That’s it! As far as I can tell, you have to do this manually for every single ad set rather than doing it campaign or account wide. If you’ve ever done an exclusion that applies to all of your campaigns at once, let us know and we’ll update this.
If you’re a nonprofit running Google Ad Grants, you most likely don’t need to worry about this since you’re only running search ads. But if you want to create a block list, you still can.