January 20, 2022

Image credit: EcoWatch

Ads promoting climate misinformation are banned on Google and YouTube

Google has announced that it will stop advertising ads on climate change denial YouTube videos and other content, as well as ads that promote these ideas.

The ban will apply to ads for anything that contradicts the “scientific consensus around the presence and causes of climate change,” as well as the monetization of that content. ‘Automated tools and human review’ will be used to enforce it.

Content that refers to climate change as a hoax or a fraud, claims disputing that long-term patterns show the global temperature is warming, and claims denying that greenhouse gas emissions or human activity contribute to climate change will be subject to the policy.

YouTube creators will no longer be able to receive advertising money from video that denies climate change as a result of the changes.

Avaaz, a non-profit organisation based in the United States that encourages activism on problems such as climate change, accused YouTube of “incentivizing this climate misinformation content via its monetization program” in a 2020 report.

Silvia Pastorelli of Greenpeace said the announcement was “nowhere near adequate” to curb “the vast quantity of climate disinformation, greenwashing, and blatant climate denial on big tech’s platforms.”

Stopping the monetization of a material does not make it disappear or diminish its importance. Even when individuals search for climate-related conspiracies, Google claims to do both and seeks to deliver trustworthy information.

The statement by Google’s advertising team comes after Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai’s blog post on Wednesday, in which he unveiled a slew of climate-related initiatives, including:

•In the United States, if the fastest route isn’t available, Google Maps will show the most fuel-efficient option.

• Google Flights now includes information on carbon emissions per seat.

• Nest thermostats now include a new feature that assists customers in making the most of their renewable energy.