According to a new report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, Google sold Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire millions of dollars worth of advertising, aiding the publication in spreading misinformation about climate change online.
Google made sure the climate denial at the Daily Wire, founded with $4.7 million from fracking magnate and co-owner Farris Wilks’ money, would be the top result for those searches by selling ads to the well-known conservative disinformation site for terms like “climate change is a hoax” and “is global warming a scam.”
The study demonstrates that Google’s October 2021 policy announcement to forbid advertisements “referring to climate change as a hoax or a fraud” appears to be ignored until researchers draw attention to advertisements.
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Imran Ahmed, the CEO of CCDH, stated that “Google has restrictions against their search ads being used to disseminate disinformation.” They ought to enforce them, even against those who generously support them.
According to a report created using the paid analytics tool Semrush, Google may have sold the Daily Wire $60 million worth of advertising over a two-year period on searches for 150 climate-related terms and a variety of others, including “why does george soros hate America” and “George Floyd cause of death,” which linked to a Daily Wire page that falsely claimed Floyd died from a fentanyl overdose rather than from police violence.
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Google continued to sell these ads after establishing a new policy in October 2021 banning advertisements that support the denial of the climate issue. At the time, Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, made a public statement stating that when users search for information on climate change on Google, we’ll provide reliable results from organizations like the United Nations.
Imran Ahmed, CEO of the U.S. and UK-based Center for Countering Digital Hate, who provided the Guardian with unique access to his organization’s research, claimed that Google’s hypocrisy has no bounds. In reality, they are selling the ability to disseminate mislead to climate deniers.