On Thursday, Google said that it will no longer run advertising next to climate change disinformation on its search engine or on YouTube, the world’s largest video-sharing site. “contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change.” The new policy for Google advertising, publishers, and YouTube creators prohibits the platforms from assisting anyone in making money off of material that they have created.
In a blog post, Google stated that this includes online content that refers to climate change as a hoax or a fraud, or that denies the world’s temperature is increasing and that human activity is contributing to the problem.
“Advertisers simply don’t want their advertisements to appear next to this content,” Google said. “And publishers and creators don’t want advertisements promoting these claims to appear on their pages or videos.”
The policy change, according to the Internet behemoth, is in line with the company’s aim to encourage sustainable practices and combat climate change.
Campaign director of NGO Avaaz, Fadi Quran said, “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.”
Other internet companies should follow Google’s approach and avoid funneling money to people selling discredited climate change denials, according to the Quran.
The social networking behemoth Facebook, Google’s biggest digital ad competitor, brags about its efforts to prevent climate disinformation on its platform, but commercials are not subject to the same restrictions. Social media sites are frequently accused of pushing information that elicits strong emotional responses in order to keep users involved so that advertisers may make more money, even if the content is harmful.