Ahead of last month’s United Nations global climate summit, Google, the world’s biggest provider of ads online, made a big announcement: It would stop placing ads on sites that deny the scientific consensus on climate change.
Banned from profiting from its advertising program, Google said, were sites and videos falsely referring to global warming as a hoax or a scam. Also no longer welcome to run Google ads: Content falsely claiming that greenhouse gas emissions, or human activity, do not contribute to climate change.
But new research shows that Google’s policy has had limited effect so far.
As of Wednesday, ads placed by Google were still running on scores of articles, including ones on major right-wing sites like Breitbart, that falsely called global warming a hoax and described the United Nations climate conference last month as “a gigantic eco-fascist gaslighting operation.” In reality, diplomats from nearly 200 countries struck a major agreement to intensify efforts to fight the serious hazards posed by a hotter planet.
The Center for Countering Digital Hate, a nonprofit group based in London, said on Thursday that it had counted at least 50 new climate denial articles on 14 different sites, all published after Nov. 9, when Google’s new policy was to have taken effect. An earlier report by the center’s researchers found that 10 of the most prominent publishers of climate denial content had received nearly 1.1 billion visits in the six months before the…