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YouTube bans using word 'Christian' in targeted ads

Fri 26 Jul 2019
By Heather Preston

The founder of a Christian war veteran recovery programme had his ad rejected from YouTube for using the keyword 'Christian'.

Chad Robichaux, founder of the Mighty Oaks Foundation - a charity providing support and discipleship to those suffering from wartime trauma, was told he could not use the label 'Christian' to boost his advert on the Google owned platform as it violated the site's advertising policy.

Mr Robichaux posted about the incident on twitter, claiming not allowing the word Christian was discriminating:


"We ran a YouTube ad for our veterans ministry outreach for those in need & it was denied for the word "Christian". Insane! #Censorship should terrify every American; conservative or liberal, Christian or Muslim. This bias is a dangerous course for America." @MightyOaksFDN  



The YouTube team responded to Mr Robichaux's tweets, maintaining that targeting users based on their religion was in breach of their advertising policy but that adverts can include the term 'Christian' in them and still hope to reach a Christian audience.

"We know that religious beliefs are personal, so we don't allow advertisers to target users on the basis of religion. Beyond that, we don't have policies against advertising that includes religious terms like "Christian".



Mr Robichaux has called out the tech giant for religious discrimination, saying that he posted the same ad with a target label of 'Muslim' and was not asked to take it down.

"We ran the exact same ad with the keyword "Muslim" & it was approved but "Christian" was not. Additionally, we've ran ads with the keyword "Christian" for years. This year alone we had 150,000 impressions on that word in our ads. As per your support line this is a new restriction"



After speaking with Google's help desk, Mr Robichaux was told the policy was new.

Google has yet to comment publicly on the matter.


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