- The Washington Times
Friday, October 8, 2021

Google and YouTube said they will block ads that they believe are challenging the “scientific consensus” on climate change.

Google‘s new policy for its advertisers, publishers and creators will “prohibit ads for, and monetization of, content that contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change.”

“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,” stated Google‘s update to its ads policy on Thursday.

Google said it felt pressure from publishers and creators to address ads making claims about climate change, so it consulted United Nations officials to develop rules governing advertisers using Google products such as YouTube.

“In creating this policy and its parameters, we’ve consulted authoritative sources on the topic of climate science, including experts who have contributed to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Reports,” Google said in its update. “As is the case for many of our policies, we’ll use a combination of automated tools and human review to enforce this policy against violating publisher content, Google-served ads, and YouTube videos that are monetizing via YouTube’s Partner Program. We’ll begin enforcing this policy next month.”

Google‘s turn toward officials from the United Nations to decide a contentious issue involving online speech is not the first time a large American technology company has relied on foreign officials for help making policy.

As Facebook developed its ban against former President Donald Trump, the company dispatched Facebook vice president Nick Clegg, who formerly served as deputy prime minister of the U.K. and leader of the Liberal Democrats, to explain its actions surrounding its silencing of a sitting American president.

When Facebook referred its decision to ban Mr. Trump to its Oversight Board for review earlier this year, Mr. Clegg said Facebook executives hoped and expected the board to confirm the company’s decision to block Mr. Trump. The former president remains banned on Facebook’s platforms and he is suing the company and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg over alleged First Amendment violations.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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