Online ad exchange AppNexus cuts off Breitbart

Features Associated Press

FILE - In this Oct 7, 2016 photo, Steve Bannon, former head of Breitbart News and campaign CEO for then Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, appears at a national security meeting with advisors at Trump Tower in New York. Online ... advertising exchange AppNexus has cut off Breitbart News, the ultraconservative outlet that has served as a platform for the “alt-right,” a white nationalist movement. It cited its policy against hate speech as the reason for the removal. While Breitbart was not a direct client of AppNexus, the ad exchange says it has removed it from its marketplace, effectively cutting off some access to advertisers. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File) (The Associated Press)

Online advertising exchange AppNexus said Wednesday it has barred Breitbart News, the ultraconservative outlet that has served as a platform for the "alt-right," a white nationalist movement.

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AppNexus said it removed Breitbart from its advertising network because the online news site had violated its policy against hate speech.

Breitbart can still sell ads, just not on AppNexus' online marketplace, the second largest to Google's. Breitbart was not a direct client of AppNexus but its access to some advertisers will be cut as a result of the move, although it's unclear how much this would hurt its revenue.

A representative for Breitbart did not immediately return a message seeking comment Wednesday.

Breitbart emerged during the campaign as an unabashed backer of President-elect Donald Trump, who has named Steve Bannon, the news site's former leader, as chief White House strategist.

AppNexus spokesman Josh Zeitz said in an email that his company bars sites that "contain pornography, graphic violence, pirated material, or hate speech." Also barred are sites that attract a lot of nonhuman traffic or appear to be "content farms" that produce articles for the sole purpose of generating clicks.

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AppNexus determined that Breitbart "deployed crude racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual slurs in a way that could incite violence or discrimination against minority groups," he said.

Facebook and Google have said recently that they are prohibiting fake news sites from using their ad networks. This case is different though — AppNexus is not banning Breitbart for posting fake news, but for posting hate.