Google said on Thursday that it will no longer run advertisements next to climate change disinformation on its search engine or on YouTube, the world’s largest video-sharing site.
The new policy prohibits Google advertisers, publishers, and YouTube producers from assisting anyone in making money from content that “contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the presence and causes of climate change.”
In a blog post, Google stated that this includes online content that refers to climate change as a hoax or a fraud, or that denies the world’s temperature is increasing and that human activity is contributing to the problem.
Google stated, “Advertisers just do not want their advertisements to display next to this content.”
“Moreover, publishers and artists do not want advertisements supporting these claims to appear on their pages or films.”
The internet behemoth also stated that the policy change is in line with the company’s efforts to promote sustainable practises and combat climate change.
“Google’s important decision to demonetize climate misinformation could turn the tide on the climate denial economy,” said NGO Avaaz campaign director Fadi Quran.
“For years, climate misinformers have confused public opinion and obstructed urgent political action on climate change, and YouTube has been one of their weapons of choice.”
Quran urged other online platforms to follow Google’s lead and stop funneling money to those peddling debunked denials of climate change.
Social networking colossus Facebook, which is Google’s biggest competitor in the digital advertising market, touts efforts to curb climate misinformation at its platform but has no such ad ban in place.
Social media platforms are regularly accused of promoting content that provokes strong emotional responses in order to keep users engaged so the platforms can make more money made from ads, even if the content can cause harm.