YouTube Is Demonetizing (But Not Banning) Climate Change Misinformation

By 10/07/2021
YouTube Is Demonetizing (But Not Banning) Climate Change Misinformation

Starting next month, creators in the YouTube Partner Program won’t be allowed to monetize content that spreads misinformation about climate change.

YouTube’s parent, Google, announced the new rule today as part of an overall shift in advertising policies across numerous products, including Google Ads.

On YouTube, that shift means the platform will demonetize content that “contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change,” Google said.


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Specifically, it added, YouTube will demonetize “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.”

Google noted that YouTube content will be evaluated by both algorithms and human moderators, and that “we’ll look carefully at the context in which claims are made, differentiating between content that states a false claim as fact, versus content that reports on or discusses that claim.”

Climate change misinformation is just the latest brand of lie to be targeted by YouTube. Over the past couple of years, it’s also cracked down on election misinformation, COVID and false flag conspiracies, and anti-vax content. To be clear, though, YouTube is not banning videos containing climate change misinformation–it’s just keeping advertisements from running on them. So misinformation will still be present on the platform, but creators won’t make money off it.

Outside of YouTube, the change means Google will not accept ads or publisher content that deny climate change.

This shift is happening thanks to requests from both advertisers and content creators who don’t want their marketing or videos, respectively, to run alongside misinformation.

“Advertisers simply don’t want their ads to appear next to this content,” Google said. “And publishers and creators don’t want ads promoting these claims to appear on their pages or videos.”

YouTube will begin enforcing the policy for creators 30 days from today. Advertisers have 60 days before enforcement kicks in.

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