Google to ban ads and demonetise YouTube videos promoting climate change denial

·2-min read

Google is tackling climate change denial across its advertising platforms and YouTube, with bans and new demonetisation policies from next month.

The company's move will explicitly prohibit all advertisements that contradict the "well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change".

It will also prevent YouTube videos from earning money if they refer "to climate change as a hoax or a scam", deny that long-term trends show the global climate is warming, and that "greenhouse gas emissions or human activity contribute to climate change".

It follows the company updating its ads and monetisation policies regarding fake medical cures and anti-vaccine advocacy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company already restricts advertisements from appearing alongside content about sensitive topics, including firearms and tragic events, although this is the first time that climate change denial has been added to the list.

Google said it would be looking "carefully" when evaluating climate content so that it can differentiate between content that spreads false claims as facts or that simply discusses those claims.

"We will also continue to allow ads and monetisation on other climate-related topics, including public debates on climate policy, the varying impacts of climate change, new research and more," the company added

The move was spurred by concerns from "a growing number of our advertising and publishing partners" who have complained about ads promoting inaccurate claims about climate change, Google said.

The world's largest technology companies have been facing growing pressure to contribute to reductions in carbon emissions, as well as tackle the spread of misinformation on their platforms.

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