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Google cracks down on climate change denial by targeting ads

By PTI

LONDON: In hopes of limiting revenue for climate change deniers and curbing the spread of misinformation on its platforms, Google is using digital ads to promote false climate change claims or make money from such content. But cracking down.

The new policy will also apply to YouTube, which last week announced a broad crackdown on vaccine misinformation, the company said in a blog post on Thursday.

??We’ve heard directly from the growing number of our advertising and publisher partners who have expressed concern about ads running with or promoting false claims about climate change, ?? Google said.

??Advertisers simply don’t want their ads to appear next to this content. Publishers and creators on YouTube “do not want ads promoting these claims to appear on their pages or videos, ?? according to Google.

Sanctions ?? prohibit advertisements and monetization of content that contradicts the well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change. The blog post said.

As well as allaying publishers’ frustrations, the changes are clearly aimed at combating online influencers who monetize YouTube videos promoting climate change denial theories or make money by placing ads on them. earn.

The company said limits would be imposed on materials it calls climate change a hoax or that greenhouse gas emissions and human activity have contributed to Earth’s long-term warming.

Experts questioned whether the changes would be effective.

??How will they determine what is misinformation (ie false) or simply incomplete or misleading information?” Lisa Schipper, Environmental Social Science Research Fellow at the University of Oxford’s Institute for Environmental Change.

He cited an example images of clean energy by fossil fuel companies.

??In some ways, these types of ads that suggest a different kind of truth can be even more harmful because they appear innocuous, while they simultaneously serve to green the company, Said the shipper.

Google will use both automated tools and a human reviewer when it takes effect in November for publishers and YouTube creators, and in December for advertisers.

Ads will still be allowed on content related to other related topics, such as public debates on climate policy.

However, such debates can be polarized, warned Steve Smith, executive director of Oxford’s Net Zero Climate Neutrality Research Program and the CO2RE Research Hub on Greenhouse Gas Removal.

Misinformation is running rampant in online discussions about low-carbon energy, travel and food, as much as it is on climate science. Smith said.

Google is one of two major players in the global digital advertising industry, generating $147 billion in advertising revenue last year.

Facebook, the other big player, bans ads used to spread misinformation, although it does not list specific topics, including climate change denial.

Earlier this week, Google rolled out new features aimed at helping users reduce their carbon footprint, including a search function that shows which flights emit fewer emissions.

Misinformation and the role of social media giants in spreading it has become a major concern for many.

According to a survey by The Pearson Institute and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, some 95% of Americans said that misinformation is a problem when trying to access important information.

Facebook’s problem with false information hit headlines this week when former data scientist Frances Hogen told members of Congress that the company knew its platform spreads misinformation, but refused to make changes that could hurt its profits. can deliver.

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