Google and YouTube announced a new policy today that’s aimed at cutting off the funding of climate deniers on their platforms. Now advertisers won’t be able to spew misinformation about climate change, and those who talk about climate change as a conspiracy won’t be able to monetize their content.
Cutting off funding for Google advertisers, publishers, and YouTube Creators that spew unfounded conspiracy theories that fly in the face of the scientific consensus over climate change is a good start.
It’s the largest single act any major platform has done to limit this damaging content, and it could spur other platforms like social media to do the same.
Google is the largest digital ad seller and was gathering a bad reputation for allowing climate-denying ads onto Search. That even prompted Congress to request it to do something about climate deniers, especially those on YouTube.
Google is also partnering up with the UN to add information straight from the UN into search results when users search for “climate change.”
That will provide some measure of buffering from the misinformation that’s everywhere these days. The English, Spanish, and French versions of Search will get the UN content later this month, with other languages to follow.
Climate change denial isn’t the only thing YouTube has banned in recent times. Last week, YouTube banned all vaccine misinformation, after banning all COVID-19 misinformation previously. Last year, the platform banned QAnon and other conspiracy content that targeted people, and the year before that they banned “maliciously insulting” content around race, gender, or sex.
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