Google has announced that it will ban ads promoting new viral conspiracy theories from August 18, remove ads from pages promoting them, and disable entire sites that often violate the policy,media The Verge reported. CNBC reported the news Friday, noting that it complements the existing ban on monetizing harmful medical disinformation.
A Google spokesman confirmed that the new policy would cover pages that contradict the “authoritative scientific consensus” of the new crown pandemic. Although Google has eliminated false health claims, it will soon do the same for false claims such as the origin of viruses. The policy does not apply to pages that debunk or report on the existence of these theories, nor does it apply to conspiracy theories unrelated to the new crown virus.
A Google spokesman told The Verge: “We are taking additional safeguards to expand our policy on harmful health claims for publishers and advertisers to include content about the dangers of the health crisis, which contradicts the scientific consensus.” “
Google and other large web platforms have been struggling to cope with the changing information (and disinformation) environment surrounding the new crown pandemic. The company briefly banned all non-government-related neo-virus-related content in March, but lifted it after receiving complaints from Democratic campaign groups. It has also eliminated YouTube videos about pandemics, and it has adopted a strategy of many sensitive topics. It temporarily banned advertising for masks in the early days of the outbreak, a policy Facebook has adopted.
It is unclear how much content is currently in violation of Google’s new rules, and whether certain sites will be banned under the new rules. For example, The Epoch Times, a newspaper that spreads the COVID-19 plot, now hosts Google ads. High-profile ad removals have caused controversy in the past, including the suspension of the conservative website Zero Hedge because of widespread racism in its comment stakes. Google confirmed last week that it had reinstated ads on the site after revising the rules.