Google and YouTube have moved to ban ads on videos containing “climate misinformation” and other related content. The ban will cover ads on content that contradicts the “scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change”, according to a statement from Google.
The company claims they are responding to “pressure” from advertisers and users to remove ads on “climate denial” videos. Google’s new policy will “prohibit ads for, and monetization of, content that contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change,” the company said.
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 will still allow ads on videos that contain “climate-related topics, including public debates on climate policy, the varying impacts of climate change, new research and more,” they continued. Contributors to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — which is the UN’s body for “assessing the science related to climate change” — will be consulted on content moderation and censorship. The policy is set to take effect sometime next month.
Google and YouTube have been censoring content related to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, banning any information not provided by the CDC or World Health Organization.. Starting in March, 2020, the platform began to remove videos that did not violate its terms of service, using COVID-19 as a pretext. This policy has also applied to COVID-19 vaccines, as the tech giant recently announced they would be taking steps to remove “vaccine misinformation” from their platform.
Several medical professionals and disease experts have been impacted by COVID-related censorship on YouTube, especially those discussing the use of drugs such as Ivermectin or Hydroxychloroquine. Even Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) had his account suspended as a result of Google’s “COVID misinformation” policy. He was ultimately forced to delete two videos.
The UN climate panel (IPCC) warned of “dire consequences” if extreme action is not taken on climate change in a recent report. “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land,” the report reads.
John Kerry, who serves as Biden’s envoy for climate, said the report underscores the “overwhelming urgency” and high stakes of the situation. “The world must come together before the ability to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is out of reach.
As the IPCC makes plain, the impacts of the climate crisis, from extreme heat to wildfires to intense rainfall and flooding, will only continue to intensify unless we choose another course for ourselves and generations to come. What the world requires now is real action,” he said in a statement.