Recently, a founder of a Christian veterans group attempted to upload a YouTube ad for his organization only to find that tech giant rejected his add, notifying him that the keyword “Christian” wasn’t acceptable under the site’s ad targeting policy.
Chad Robichaux, the founder of the Mighty Oaks Foundation, a charitable organization which assists war veterans to overcome their PTSD, posted a screenshot of his encounter with YouTube on his twitter account.
“So one of the keywords to boost the ad was the word ‘Christian,’ which we use regularly. The ad was denied specifically because of the use of the word ‘Christian,’ Robichaux said.
During an interview with Faithwire, Robichaux said that “This is the first time we’d seen this.” Immediately after Robichaux’s tweet, YouTube also took to twitter in an attempt to explain the situation.
“We know that religious beliefs are personal, so we don’t allow advertisers to target users on the basis of religion,” wrote YouTube. “Beyond that, we don’t have policies against advertising that includes religious terms like ‘Christian,’ they added.
Robichaux responded by saying that the tech giant’s statement was patently false and deliberately misleading, stating that he had used the same keyword ‘for years’ without having any problems. He also claimed that there was no issue when he attempted to run the same exact ad, this time using the keyword “Muslim” instead of “Christian”.
“We’ve ran ads with the keyword ‘Christian’ for years. This year alone we had 150,000 impressions on that word in our ads,” Robichaux wrote, adding “We ran the exact same ad with the keyword ‘Muslim’ & it was approved but ‘Christian’ was not.”
However, after speaking with Google’s – the parent company of YouTube – help desk, Robichaux was told that the policy recently implemented.
Google still hasn’t commented publicly on the matter.