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Pierre Metivier / Flickr cc

Britain's highest paid CEO, Martin Sorrell of WPP advertising agency, told Google to "step up and take responsibility" for the content that's shared on its platforms. He was speaking on a panel with Google's U.K. managing director Ronan Harris at the Festival of British Advertising in London Friday, per Business Insider. Sorrell's criticism comes after a high-profile investigation by The Times which discovered that a number of brand ads were appearing next to terrorist videos on YouTube and hate sites.

Harris tried to defend Google, and stated that the company has been able to "allay concerns" by explaining how it works to prevent these incidents from happening, but Sorrell wasn't buying it: "You haven't allayed their concerns. You can spin this, Ronan, or we can speak the truth... You have the resources, your margins are enormous, you have control of the algorithms, and you don't explain to people how those algorithms work."

Why it matters: Google and Facebook have an effective "duopoly" over digital ad revenue, eating up more than 90% of all new ad dollars. In light of this, both companies are experiencing heightened pressure from the publishing industry to re-assure ad buyers and advertisers of the quality of inventory their ads are running up against.

What Google's doing about it: Google has been actively going after bad ads and hate sites for a while, but its scale makes it difficult to effectively regulate everything that is automated accross its platform. In 2016, Google reviewed 550 sites in November and December that they thought pushed deceptive content, including mimicking news organizations to look authoritative and real. In the end, 340 were punished, and 200 were permanently banned.

Go deeper

45 million Americans under winter storm watches near New England

Computer model projection showing the winds moving around the powerful East Coast storm on Saturday Jan. 29, 2022. Image: https://earth.nullschool.net

, Nearly 45 million Americans are under winter weather alerts and warnings from North Carolina to northeastern Maine, as a major winter storm threatens the region.

Why it matters: It is predicted to be the biggest blizzard since 2018 to strike the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow possible in parts of eastern Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.

44 mins ago - World

Australian PM pledges $700M for climate change-threatened Great Barrier reef

A green sea turtle is flourishing among the corals at Lady Elliot island in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Friday a AU$1 billion ($703 million) investment plan for the Great Barrier Reef.

Why it matters: The nine-year plan for projects including water quality improvement, reef conservation and supporting some 64,000 tourism jobs comes months ahead of this year's federal election. It has been criticized by scientists and environmental groups for failing to tackle climate change.

Judge nixes Gulf of Mexico oil leases in climate-focused ruling

Tug boats prepare to tow the semi-submersible drilling platform Noble Danny Adkins through the Port Aransas Channel into the Gulf of Mexico on December 12, 2020 in Port Aransas, Texas. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday canceled the Biden administration's late 2021 sale of new oil-and-gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Why it matters: The ruling that the greenhouse gas emissions analysis by the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) was insufficient is a win for green groups that challenged the decision, as they seek to curb fossil fuel production.