Climate change is one of the hottest topics of the day – its effects are not lost on anyone. It is one of the most critical issues we are facing today, and yet, there are those who deny the very existence of climate change and resort to the internet to air their beliefs.
While most social media platforms have been surprisingly inactive to curb such content, Google has taken the initiative and will no longer allow advertisers, publishers, and YouTube creators to monetize ads and content that contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change.
This comes a week after YouTube had clamped down hard on content that promoted misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine.
The company announced the same in a blog post, saying that the policy will be effective from November. This will be applicable to content that deems climate change as a hoax or a scam, claims that deny that long-term trends which show the global climate is warming, or content that denies that the emissions of greenhouse gas and human activity have contributed to the long-term warming of the planet.
While Google has put limits or restrictions on advertising regarding sensitive topics, this is the first time it has stepped up and included the denial of climate change to the list.
How will Google do it? The company said that it will use a blend of automated tools and human reviews to enforce the policy. It has consulted authoritative sources on the topic of climate science, including experts who have contributed to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Reports.
“When evaluating content against this new policy, we’ll look carefully at the context in which claims are made, differentiating between content that states a false claim as fact, versus content that reports on or discusses that claim,” Google said. However, the search engine will keep the ads which are climate topics like public debates on climate policy, research, and more.
“Advertisers simply don’t want their ads to appear next to this content. And publishers and creators don’t want ads promoting these claims to appear on their pages or videos,” the blog post read.