YouTube, like most other online platforms, has targeted ads. These are ads meant to target specific users based on what they’ve searched for in hopes that it might be relevant enough to get that person to purchase a product or service. For example, if you’ve been searching for financial advice, you might get ads for financial/investment products and tools.
However, over in Kyoto, Japan, the police have taken these targeted ads and have turned them into warnings. According to the local police, it seems that illegal voyeur recordings have been a growing problem and arrests are up 25% from last year. In a bid to deter would-be voyeurs, the police have taken out targeted ads on YouTube to warn that voyeurism is a crime.
So since these are targeted ads, it appears that the police are targeting users who are male and over the age of 18 and who might have search terms like “peeping” and “small camera” in their histories, which might suggest that they are interested in either watching these voyeuristic videos or looking to take part in them.
It is unclear how effective these warnings are, but we imagine that it might be quite a shock for would-be voyeurs to suddenly see an ad warning them against their activities. These ads are expected to run until the middle of November.