Alphabet Inc’s Google will ban advertisements and stop funding media that contradict scientific consensus on climate change, another attempt from the internet giant to stamp out environmental conspiracies it has fueled for years.
The new prohibition applies to commercials Google places online, as well as the websites and YouTube videos that run Google ads. It includes any content that denies human contributions to global warming or treats “climate change as a hoax or a scam,” Google said in a blog post Thursday.
Google, the largest digital-ad seller, has been criticized for letting companies looking to debunk or deny climate change buy search ads. On YouTube, which Google owns, inaccurate videos about the climate received more than 21 million views and frequently ran ads, according to 2020 research from the nonprofit organization Avaaz. That report prompted a congressional scolding of Google, which has otherwise touted its environmental record.
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Earlier this week, Google released several eco-friendly features for search, Maps and other services. In recent years, YouTube has tried to stop recommending climate deniers to viewers. Facebook Inc. has taken similar steps on its platforms.
For the new ads rule, Google said it consulted with experts behind the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The company will begin enforcing the ban in November.