Google on Thursday said it would cut off advertising money for YouTube videos and other sites, including denying climate change, a major step for technology companies as scientists continue to warn that humanity is moving closer to unprecedented levels of global warming.
“In recent years, we’ve heard directly from a growing number of our advertising and publishing partners who have raised concerns about climate change as well as run or promotional advertising,” Google’s advertising team wrote in a statement. “Advertisers don’t just want their ads to appear next to this content, and publishers and creators don’t want ads to promote these claims to appear on their pages or videos.
Offensive content may include those who refer to climate change as deceptive or scandalous, who deny the science that shows the planet is warming, or those who deny that greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels or other human activities contribute to climate change.
Advertising and monetization of other climate-related topics will be allowed, Google said, adding that “public debate on climate policy, the various effects of climate change, new research and more.” The company will use a combination of human review and automated tools to implement the policies, which will begin next month.
The technology giant added that it has consulted with “official sources” to draft its new rules, which include experts who helped write the UN’s basic climate document, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment.
The New York Times notes that Google has already restricted certain types of content from advertising advertising, a process known as demonetizing. Videos of firearms-related content or tragic events have already been barred from digital earnings.
YouTube said last month that it would ban all content that contains anti-vaccine content.
The latest IPCC report re-establishes that the world is on a terrible trajectory, saying that the planet was largely closed to climate change for the next 30 years, largely through the burning of fossil fuels. The worst effects of climate change, including dramatic and immediate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, can still be avoided. But how hot things are available depends on us, and scientists have long sounded the alarm that current promises are not going well enough.
The UN Secretary-General called the latest IPCC inquiry “Code Red for Humanity.”