Google bans ads that promote or make money from climate change denial

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Google is cracking down on digital ads that promote or make money from climate change a hoax, in hopes of limiting the income of climate change deniers and stopping the spread disinformation on its platforms.

The company said in a blog post on Thursday, October 7 that the new policy would also apply to YouTube, which last week announced a sweeping crackdown on vaccine misinformation.

“We have heard directly from a growing number of our advertising partners and publishers who have expressed concerns about ads running alongside or promoting inaccurate claims about climate change,” the statement read on Google’s AdSense page.

“Publishers and creators don’t want ads promoting these claims to appear on their pages or videos.”

The company said the restrictions would ban ads that promote or monetize content that contradicts the well-established scientific consensus on climate change. This will apply to claims that climate change is a hoax or scam, which deny long-term trends showing the global climate is warming, or which deny that greenhouse gas emissions or human activity contribute to climate change.

A polar bear stands on an ice floe in Baffin Bay above the Arctic Circle on July 10, 2008. The latest report from the United Nations Panel on Climate Change suggests that the Arctic may be ice free a times every 100 years, and only if the world can limit warming to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels. (Jonathan Hayward / The Canadian Press)

Google has said it will use both automated tools and human reviewers to enforce the policy, which goes into effect in November for YouTube publishers and creators, and in December for advertisers.

Ads will still be allowed on content on related topics such as public debates on climate policy or the different impacts of climate change.

The company is one of the two dominant players in the global digital advertising industry, with advertising revenue of US $ 147 billion last year. Facebook, the other big player, bans ads used to spread disinformation, but does not list specific topics, including climate change denial.

Earlier this week, Google rolled out new features aimed at helping users reduce their carbon footprint, although an article in The Verge points out that companies, including Google, have been called upon to shift the responsibility onto individual consumers and that these latest announcements are not designed. to reduce the company’s carbon footprint.

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