Thanks to the First Amendment, you can say whatever you want on the internet — but YouTube and Google won't necessarily continue to pay you for doing so. Both sites have taken a strong stand against climate deniers by demonetizing anyone who makes false claims about climate change. Even if you're a "credentialed user," this could affect your paycheck per video, if you were planning on making any incorrect statements about the environment anytime soon.
"When evaluating content against this new misinformation policy, 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," a Google spokesman stated, as per Yahoo News. "We are constantly evaluating and updating our policies, taking into account feedback from experts, advertisers, creators, publishers and users."
YouTube and Google have officially updated their misinformation policies.
No longer will YouTube or Google (the latter of which owns the former) reward climate-denying creators. Google is no longer enabling advertisers or publishers to monetize content that makes false claims about global warming, and YouTube will no longer monetize creators who do the same. Google explained its updated policy on a Google Ads support page that was posted on Thursday, Oct. 7. Humans and automated systems will continuously monitor for false content to enforce this new policy.
“Today, we’re announcing a new monetization policy for Google advertisers, publishers and YouTube creators that will prohibit ads for, and monetization of, content that contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change," the post reads.
"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," it continues. "When evaluating content against this new policy, 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."
YouTube is also cracking down on vaccine misinformation.
This new updated misinformation policy comes a little over a week after YouTube began more closely managing harmful vaccine content on its site. According to a recent blog post, the video platform condones anything that is approved and confirmed to be safe by the WHO, and therefore, will not stand for videos that condemn them. The site has removed over 130,000 videos that violate its COVID-19 vaccine policies, and will continue to prevent the spread of misinformation on the matter.
YouTube's Community Guidelines had previously prohibited the spread of false medical information, but the site is taking it a step further in regards to COVID-19. Any content that supports disproven claims that vaccines are dangerous, cause negative health problems, don't work, or regarding what's in it will be immediately removed moving forward.
Needless to say, we're relieved that both sites are standing up for what's right, to support the well-being of the planet and its inhabitants, too.