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Google takes stand against climate change deniers with new ads and monetization policy

Google will introduce a new policy for advertisers, AdSense publishers and YouTube creators that prohibit ads for, and monetization of, content that contradicts authoritative scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change, the company announced Thursday. Google will use its automated systems as well as human reviewers to enforce the policy, which will take effect next month.

Why Google is making this change. “In recent years, we’ve heard directly from a growing number of our advertising and publisher partners who have expressed concerns about ads that run alongside or promote inaccurate claims about climate change,” the company said, “Advertisers simply don’t want their ads to appear next to this content. And publishers and creators don’t want ads promoting these claims to appear on their pages or videos.”

What kind of content and ads are prohibited? The new policy prohibits ads for, and monetization of, the following: content that refers to climate change as a scam or a hoax, 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.

Sorting out offending content and ads. “We’ll look carefully at the context in which claims are made, differentiating between content that states a false claim as fact, versus content that reports on or discusses that claim,” Google said in its announcement, “We will also continue to allow ads and monetization on other climate-related topics, including public debates on climate policy, the varying impacts of climate change, new research and more.”

Why we care. Advertisers that deal with climate matters should be especially careful as this new policy takes effect. If your ads adhere to the policy but are still disapproved, you can appeal the policy decision directly from your Google Ads account.

Publishers and YouTube content creators that make climate change content should also be careful not to run afoul of this policy as it may make monetization impossible.

For general publishers and YouTube creators that monetize their content, this change may increase brand safety as climate-change-denying ads will be less likely to show up alongside your content.

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