Google, YouTube End Monetization of 'Climate Denial' Content

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October 7, 2021

Google and YouTube announced Thursday that they will no longer allow content creators and advertisers to profit off content that contradicts mainstream views on climate change.

Beginning next month, Google and its subsidiary YouTube will no longer monetize ads or videos that go against "well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change," according to a memo from the company's ad team. Under the new policy, video creators will not receive a cut of revenue from views of those videos.

The move is one of the most sweeping policy changes from a big tech company regarding what content is allowed or encouraged on the platform. Google says the change was driven by advertisers and video creators who "simply don’t want" their content to appear next to ads or videos that contain "climate change denial."

But Google also said the policy is a bid "to better protect users from unreliable claims." The company said the new policy will "strengthen the integrity of our advertising ecosystem." Google said it would use both human reviewers and artificial intelligence to enforce the policy.

YouTube banned anti-vaccine content over the course of the pandemic. The platform blamed employee shortages for its removal of a video by an Israeli scholar explaining military strikes in Gaza. At the time, YouTube said, "We are temporarily relying more on technology to help with some of the work normally done by reviewers."