This website is an archive of the work of Marietje Schaake in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019. Marietje can be reached at

Refusal of Redbad trailer by Google

Written question to the European Commission

The producers of Dutch movie ´Redbad´, which focuses on the Dutch legend of Redbad and his fight to stem the advancing tide of Christianity in AD 754, received a notice from Google´s Adwords system on the 23d of May saying that the were not allowed to show a trailer for their movie as an advertisement on YouTube and other Google services. The reason was that the trailer was considered to be “shocking content” and hence inappropriate to be included in Google´s AdWords system. The notice calls on the creator to “remove the shocking content” from the advertisement and from the movie´s site.  

  1. Does the Commission consider such activities by private companies a threat to the freedom of expression, and the rule of law online?
  2. Is the Commission considering a broader assessment of the mechanisms that online platforms use to review “shocking” or “offensive” content in its review of the EU´s code of conduct on hate speech?
  3. In light of its Artificial Intelligence strategy and the development of its Charter of Ethics in that context, does the Commission plan to force companies to notify users that a decision has been made by an algorithm or a human person if such a decision has an impact on the exercise of fundamental rights?