Google Is Featuring Ads Alongside Misleading Information Related To The Covid-19

Recently, the Global Disinformation Index reviewed dozens of websites containing coronavirus misinformation and discovered that Google featured ads on 84% of those websites. Social media platforms as well as search platforms had to struggle while updating monetization and ad policies during the pandemic.

When you visit a site and view ads, it is symbiotic relation. The brand pays to feature their ads, the one who owns the website, generates money, and various platforms such as Google broker that relation.

If a website is part of Google’s approved advertiser network then in most cases it means, that particular website allows Google to supply advertisements from buyers automatically. However, during this age of fake-news, a question arises around Google’s ad networks’ responsibility on which websites and what sort of content it powers ads for.

For instance, a Veeam ad is being displayed on an article which claims that charities related to the coronavirus pandemic given by Bill Gates are part of a world domination plot.

Another article was also spotted which claims that Bill Gates attempted bribery on lawmakers from Nigeria for a coronavirus vaccine. Microsoft Teams ad was appearing in that article.

It was also discovered that O2 communications ad was appearing on an article which claimed links between 5G networks and coronavirus. Ads from Amazon, Oracle NetSuite, Vimeo, eBay, Deloitte, Nintendo SwitchPayPal and other big brand are also being featured along with inappropriate content. When the company was questioned about this, Google stated that the company monitor particular page content, and not a website at large. Google also informed media outlets that they are committed to bring quality content across its variety of products, plus the tech giant also emphasis on its efforts to protect its users from medical misinformation. Google's spokesperson Christa Muldoon says that, "Any time we find publishers [or websites] that violate our policies, we take immediate action."

However, if you are a brand owner using Google’s network, you can choose to create a blacklist of websites you do not want your advertisements on. Still, the question remains where the responsibility of this matter truly falls. This is not the first time the company is facing backlash for where Google runs ads. As Google is continuously expanding its monetization opportunities for people across YouTube as well as websites, a question arises that when Google bans a creator, how Google police the appearance of that particular creator at large.

For instance, Google banned a British conspiracy theorist named David Icke for spreading coronavirus misinformation. He had been running a channel on YouTube for more than 14 years, and now he is seen on other YouTube channels.

A spokesman from Google stated that content creators who have been blocked from YouTube can appear in videos owned by other YouTubers as long as the content does not go against Google’s policies. The debate (should people get a monetary reward for spreading misinformation?) will continue as more and more creators join various platforms each day.

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