Late Thursday, Google announced that it was monetizing content that makes misleading or false claims about climate change. As a result, Google ads will not be accompanied by content that questions or denies scientific consensus about anthropogenic climate change. In addition, Google will no longer run any advertisements that “contradict the well-established scientific consensus about the existence and causes of climate change.”
In the midst of natural disasters causing a worldwide public-health crisis, driven at least in part by human-caused climate change, the amount of misinformation and outright lies is not only depressing but alarming. Google has been criticized for its role in spreading misinformation, and many people are unhappy with it. People who pay for ads don’t want their ads to appear with videos full of misinformation, and content creators don’t want their products to be disrupted by flawed ads.
Message received, says Google. “We’ve heard directly from a growing number of our advertising and publisher partners who have expressed concern about ads promoting false claims about climate change,” Google said. “Advertisers do not want their ads to appear next to this content. And publishers and creators do not want ads promoting these claims to appear on their pages or videos.”
After the policy goes into effect in November, Google will use automated tools for its normal human eye assembly and enforcement.