No more ads; Google & YouTube’s rigid stance over false climate change claims

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
  • Follow author on
Representational Image

The US-based technology giant, Google has announced it will no longer display advertisements on YouTube videos and other content that promote misinformation about climate change.

The new policy, by the company’s ads team, means that it will no longer permit websites or YouTube creators to make advertising money through Google with content that “contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change.”

Google is aiming to enforce the new policy with a blend of algorithmic detection and human moderation and the change will come into effect from next month onwards.

According to the tech giant, the policy applies to content that refers to climate change as a hoax or a scam, denies the long-term trend that the climate is warming, or denies that greenhouse gas emissions or human activity is contributing to climate change.

“In recent years, we’ve heard directly from a growing number of our advertising and publisher partners who have expressed concerns about ads that run alongside or promote inaccurate claims about climate change,” the company said.

The internet giant added that the policy change aligns with efforts by the company to promote sustainable practices and confront climate change. This is the first time Google has added climate change denial to the list.

“Google’s important decision to demonetize climate misinformation could turn the tide on the climate denial economy. For years, climate misinformers have confused public opinion and obstructed urgent political action on climate change, and YouTube has been one of their weapons of choice,” said NGO Avaaz campaign director Mr. Fadi Quran.

Social media platform Facebook, which is Google’s biggest competitor in the digital advertising market, touts efforts to curb climate misinformation at its platform but has no such advertisement ban in place.

Related: Snapchat brings out new feature to safeguard users from drug dangers