Google is stepping up its fight against coronavirus-related disinformation. The company bans advertisements that “[contradict] scientific consensus” about the pandemic. Google hopes that third-party sites and applications will not be able to earn money by advertising about conspiracy theories. These include claims that the virus was created in a Chinese laboratory, that the pandemic is a hoax, and that Bill Gates is behind it.
As noted by Bloomberg, Google will begin enforcing the new rule in August 2020. To detect such advertising will use live moderators and AI. If users violate the rule many times, they will be banned from posting ads on Google resources. As company representatives explained, the new rule expands the company’s policy against “harmful ads” – they have already banned the advertising of drugs for coronavirus.
“We are introducing additional rules: we noticed that a large number of ads are misleading users. We have included in this list dangerous health content that is contrary to scientific consensus”.
In April, Google announced that it would invest $6.5 million in the fight against coronavirus-related disinformation to prevent further spread of false news. Other platforms have also taken steps to combat false claims about COVID-19.
In particular, the App Store does not include coronavirus-related applications that do not belong to official organizations. Twitter has banned posts about coronavirus drugs, and Facebook debunks pandemic myths at its COVID-19 clearinghouse.