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Google clamps down on climate change misinformation from creators, ads

The Google Logo in Black and White under a sepia shade
The Google Logo in Black and White under a sepia shade (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google has announced an update to its monetization policy on advertisers and creators.
  • The company will prohibit content that promotes false claims about climate change.
  • The move comes just after Google announced a bevy of new features aimed at tackling climate change.
  • The new policy will go into effect on December 6.

Google is going all-in on its efforts to fight climate change and the company's latest move takes a stab at ads and content that would otherwise challenge its efforts.

On Thursday, Google updated its content monetization policy in a bid to weed out ads and creators promoting climate change misinformation. Google says that starting this December, it will prohibit ads with "content that features claims about climate change which run contrary to scientific consensus."

In case you're curious about that consensus, it's that the Earth is warming and that human activity has been the primary contributor over the past century.

This means that ad companies will no longer be able to run ads that speak to the contrary, and creators will no longer be able to make money from this type of content.

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.

Google says that it will evaluate content when this new policy goes into effect, to better distinguish between ads that promote misinformation and those that discuss false claims.

The move isn't unlike the recent decision to ban vaccine misinformation from YouTube, although the company is likely to face backlash over content moderation.

This new policy not only will help us strengthen the integrity of our advertising ecosystem, but also it aligns strongly with the work we've done as a company over the past two decades to promote sustainability and confront climate change head-on.

The new ad policy will go into effect on December 6.

Derrek Lee
Derrek Lee

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.

28 Comments
  • Let me fix your article....they aren't cutting off misinformation....they are cutting off anything that isn't their version of what they think is happening.
  • You mean proven science?
  • I'm old enough to remember when it was "global cooling". also, how's that hole on the ozone doing?
  • It's more or less dissipated; as the component responsible for it happening is no longer widely used, not sure what your point is.
  • The ozone layer issue also had zero to do with global warming. But yeah, it's evident laker6666 is old as fixing the ozone layer was indeed a repeatedly used argument by big corp that climate change was fixed.
    The ozone layer protects us from dangerous radiation. Global warming is, as it sounds like, global warming.
    Edit: That said, there have been suggestions that some amoral sweatshops in China has begun using Freon based equipment again, causing new damage to the ozone layer.
  • Science makes my head hurt
  • And science is always correct? Right? NO. Anyone who knows ANYTHING about science knows damn well that SCIENCE IS NEVER SETTLED!. Not that it actually changes, but the scientists change their theories and conclusions.
    Like many of us say, trust the science? Never trust the scientists. And NEVER TRUST GOOGLE!
  • Isn't it crazy? Being willing to change what you think based on new evidence rather than arbitrarily deciding a thing is true and sticking to it forever.
  • What he said ^^^^
  • This!! But hey, let's just keep cheering on the destruction of free speech and differing opinions.
  • Yay! No more free thinking or innovation! Let's be forced to stick with what we have forever!
  • ie, Google will ramp-up it's censorship. It appears Google is driving off a cliff to it's own destruction.
  • Why do I have to see this crap at a place where I come for Android news?
  • Because Android and Google are heavily intertwined.
  • When everyone thinks the same, no one thinks at all. I'm so glad the all mighty Google is coming to the rescue once again to make sure I don't see any information that goes against the popular narrative. I'm not sure I would be able to handle that. Total censorship just makes me feel so safe.
  • I knew this would be full of amusing idiocy, and I was not disappointed lol. It's notable that climate change deniers are apparently too dumb to figure out how to reply to a comment.
  • We all can see that you are the 🤡! You missed the point... But that's what you ignorant people do!
  • What ever happened to allowing people to form their own opinions on such issues? I personally think "climate change" is something I don't believe in. If I wanted to be "told" what to think, I'd vote Republican and jump in the Apple moat.
  • So the Earth exited the ice age by warming without human activity but if you dare think it could happen again you will be silenced.
  • The fact that a hole in the ground can exist naturally does not preclude the ability of a man with a shovel to put a hole in the ground.
  • "Google taking a stance" is a misnomer, about as useful as "trust Facebook" or "Twitter has contributed to humanity's collective wisdom". Google's stance taking is directly tied to their wallet, or trying to avoid any official unpleasantness, in the form of oversight, regulations or penalties/fines. Or whatever dominant "reality" is in place at the moment. If next year "the Sun revolves around the Earth" becomes a prevailing stance once again, then Google will take that stance.
  • Censorship isn't the answer.
    Consensus isn't a scientific concept. They sure could've used Google to send Galileo 'away' quicker for going against scientific concensus of the time. That pesky Darwin and his competing scientific claims sure could've used learning a lesson from Google sensorship. Yeah. And those annoying ppl that dared to go against all that scientific consensus for decades coming from the tobacco lobby about how safe tobacco was for ppl. The pendulum always swings and 'the other side' eventually gets to define what is disinformation. Censorship is never the answer.
  • Translation: We will now only allow approved misinformation. Any possible truth is censored.
  • Good on them. There's too many idiots forwarding conspiracy theories on a whole host of issues and degrading our discourse. They shouldn't be rewarded for it. They should be shunned.
  • Your rant was misinformation... Why do you think you have a right too spew garbage? Oh, cuz you must be a sheeple!
  • Another reason why I ask, "why do people continue to use google for a search engine. Whether it is global warming, or the Wuhan virus, or liberal vs. conservative you do not get the truth, you get what google wants you to get.
  • I wonder if Google would sensor the fact that with the warming of the climate there are fewer deaths from freezing which more than offsets any deaths from it being too warm. The fact of the matter is over the past Century fewer people are dying from weather related conditions. So climate change is saving lives.
  • If you think Google is censoring now, wait to see what happens when the government gets involved, fueled by the DNC plant who testified to Congress this week. A total ruse to let the Democrats seize control of social media.