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AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File

Google says most of the advertisers that paused their campaigns have returned to YouTube after a publisher boycott over controversial content earlier this year, but that the situation still wasn't totally behind them. Speaking at the Rutberg FM conference in Half Moon Bay, Calif., Google President of the Americas Allan Thygesen says the company won't rest until they bring all advertisers back to the platform and said they have implemented several new features to help facilitate that process, including:

Two-hour response time for the removal of bad content when it's reportedMore brand controls for advertisers to create options if they want to further filter the type of content their ads are aligned with Why it matters: Google has taken strategic steps to combat brand safety issues on YouTube, but as Thygesen concedes, some high-end brands are still cautious about running on the platform. For Google, the balance it needs to strike between creating a brand-safe environment while remaining open and accessible to everyone will always present a challenge, but updates like the ones today they hope will reduce boycott threats in the future. Gut checks: The YouTube boycott earlier this year barely had an impact on Google's overall revenue for the quarter. 400 hours of content uploaded every minute on Youtube, so it will always be nearly impossible for them to catch everything, but a two-hour response time guarantee is a tangible step.Google needs an Assistant: No, not for monitoring YouTube, but as a new business opportunity. Thygesen said the approach for Google Assistant (the voice-powered agent in Google Home and Android) is to focus now on building a product consumers like. But he said it could be a significant business down the road, noting search went for years without being monetized. "Once we have (a consumer product) that we are confident in, there will be some commercial opportunity."

Go deeper

Jan. 6 panel subpoenas "alternate" Trump electors

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) addresses the media after a House Jan. 6 select committee hearing in July 2021. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on Friday announced subpoenas for more than a dozen people who led groups of "alternate electors" for former President Trump.

Why it matters: Slates of fake electors organized by pro-Trump forces in the wake of the 2020 election have come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks around the one-year anniversary of the attack.

Swastikas found outside Union Station in Washington, D.C.

People walk through Union Station on Jan. 16 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Drawings of swastikas appeared etched around the entrance to Union Station in Washington, D.C., on Friday morning.

Driving the news: "An investigation is underway with Amtrak Police and the Metropolitan Police Department after swastikas were reported on the exterior of Washington Union Station on Friday," Amtrak spokesperson Kimberly Woods said in a statement to Axios.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Contact tracing fizzles across America — New clues emerge on long COVID — Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Virginia AG says public colleges can't mandate COVID vaccines —Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker