YouTube’s on a bit of a roll as far as coming down hard on misinformation is concerned. Last week the video sharing platform announced a stern ban on all vaccine misinformation. Now it and its parent company, Google, are going after climate change denialists. The pair will no longer host ads alongside or monetise “content that contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change.”
YouTube sees the science
An announcement post on Google’s Ads Help page details the change in ad policy. According to the search giant, a number of advertisers have become increasingly concerned about their ads running alongside content making or perpetuating “inaccurate claims” about climate change. Similarly, advertisers don’t want other ads promoting these same views playing on their own videos.
Which is understandable. It’s hardly a good look for your company if people see it advertising alongside, and thereby funding, videos espousing wildly anti-science claims about climate change. For example: “content referring to climate change as a hoax or a scam, claims to deny that long-term trends show the global climate is warming, and claims denying that greenhouse gas emissions or human activity contribute to climate change.”
Now, with an issue as nuanced as climate change, YouTube has to be pretty thorough when deciding what content constitutes climate change denial, and so will employ a mix of AI and algorithm-assisted tools in tandem with human review to enforce its new policy.
YouTube will specifically compare suspected videos’ claims with official and expert-lead discussions and reports on the matter. The platform has consulted a number of “authoritative sources” on the matter, including several researchers whose works have been included in the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Google and YouTube plan to bring this new policy into effect at the beginning of next month.