Google bans adverts, monetisation of content denying climate change

The ban includes content that denies human activity contributes to climate change.
The ban includes content that denies human activity contributes to climate change. Photo credit: Getty Images

Google has announced a new monetisation policy forbidding adverts and monetisation of content denying climate change across its platforms.

The internet giant says it's responding to concerns from advertisers and publishers who don't want their content to be seen alongside inaccurate claims about climate change.

The company consulted authoritative climate science experts, including those who contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports, it said.

The ban, which includes video streaming platform YouTube, prohibits ads for, and monetisation of, content contradicting well-established scientific consensus around climate change.

"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," it said.

A combination of automation and human review will be used to enforce the policy, which takes effect from the beginning of November.

The context will be considered during that review, allowing reports or discussions on false claims, but not allowing that false claim to be stated as fact.

"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," Google said.

This latest move comes after the company blocked ad targeting based on the age, gender and interests of people under 18 in August.

It also turned off the "location history" feature, which tracks location data, for users under 18 globally and turned off the autoplay feature on YouTube Kids.

YouTube is also removing "overly commercial content" from its YouTube Kids app, "such as a video that only focuses on product packaging or directly encourages children to spend money," the site's kids and family product management director, James Beser, said at the time.