Google to Ban Ads Containing ‘Climate Change Denial’

Google has announced that they will be banning ads containing “climate change denial” ahead of next month’s United Nations conference focusing on “climate action.”

Specifically, Google said that their new policy “prohibit ads for, and monetization of, content that contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change.”

Google claimed in their announcement that the changes are due to advertisers not wanting their ads promoted near “inaccurate claims about climate change.” The Associated Press said that complaints also came from YouTubers who didn’t want the content playing during their videos.

“In recent years, we’ve heard directly from a growing number of our advertising and publisher partners who have expressed concerns about ads that run alongside or promote inaccurate claims about climate change,” the Google Ads team’s statement said. “And publishers and creators don’t want ads promoting these claims to appear on their pages or videos.”

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The statement continued, “this includes content referring to climate change as a hoax or a scam, claims denying that long-term trends show the global climate is warming, and claims denying that greenhouse gas emissions or human activity contribute to climate change.”

The Associated Press reports that “along with addressing publishers’ frustrations, the changes are also apparently intended to counter online influencers who monetize, or make money from, YouTube videos promoting climate change denial theories by putting ads on them.”

Google will employ both humans and machines to enforce its policy. The policy will become effective in November.

“This is welcome news — and a long overdue step in the right direction,” Democrat Rep. Kathy Castor said in a statement, according to a report from Scientific American.

“This is by no means the end of our fight,” Castor added. “Once this policy goes into effect, we will be monitoring its progress and implementation, as we continue holding Google and others accountable for the lies and climate misinformation that are too often spread on their platforms.”

Google made $147 billion last year in advertising revenue.