When Michigan State University went into lockdown during a mass shooting, those on campus experienced every American student's worst nightmare. Many frantically took to the internet to try to get information about where the shooter was and how they could stay safe. But, according to a TikTok from one survivor of the shooting, before they could tune into police radio, they had to listen to a 30-second unskippable ad.
Yes, you read that right: while in a life-or-death situation, they were still being marketed to. The precious time they had left was still being monetized.
Information that is vital to public safety should always be available to all people for free and immediately.Sign now to demand that YouTube, a huge source of the public good of information, remove all unskippable ads before key public information that civilians need to stay safe!Tragically, this is not the only case of a person being unable to access crucial information that could save their lives or the lives of others.
As other commenters on the TikTok pointed out, YouTube runs ads before videos of CPR and the Heimlich maneuver, and sometimes the most up-to-date live weather information during extreme events is only available after ad-watching or premium subscribing. In these situations, 30 seconds could be the difference between life or death. We must demand that YouTube chooses to protect us, not the companies that market to us.Imagine you or your loved ones being in extreme danger, and the thing that could save your life being locked behind an ad for the latest cellphone or fast food restaurant. It's terrifyingly dystopian.
YouTube made over $25 billion in revenue in 2021. There is no reason it needs to profit off of ads before videos that provide essential information to the public about immediate safety concerns.Sign the petition now to tell YouTube: ban unskippable ads before key public information videos!