While using Google for this story several ads showed up, all from climate deniers, such as this one.
Google will serve you these kind of anti science advertisements depending on your search keywords, or once you logout of your Google account and start searching climate topics.
Perhaps you have noticed while browsing Google News, that climate topics are rarely featured on their frontpage, usually missing from their science section, unless you navigate to the science category, and then navigate to the environmental tap.
The recent U.S. and Canada heatwave affecting millions with serious impacts, was just ranked 6th under the Google News U.S. category on June the 28th, when the heatwave was already breaking records, causing fires, and killed people.
Later that day the heat wave coverage made it briefly to Google News top stories, briefly.
At Google News, science is constraint to space and other worlds on their frontpage, you have to navigate to the environment tab, requiring two additional mouse clicks to find climate coverage – some consider of high importance.
Who actually navigates to the Google News environment section?
And it’s worse, if you try to find this recent article by CNN on the record breaking heat wave at Google “News”, it’s nowhere to be found within a category section. Only if you past the the title into the search it pops up.
What Google is doing, some might call it censorship, or blacklisting – usually associated with suppressive regimes.
Ads about the “Global Warming Hoax” have ended up at the top of Google search results, tailored to an individuals’ search history. YouTube’s algorithms have been accused of promoting climate denial videos in its “up next” feature, sending people down a misinformation rabbit hole. Salon (June 2021)
- Report pressures Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to battle climate lies. USA Today (May 2021)
We need to encourage researchers to broaden their search platforms to reduce a possible “Google Scholar bubble.” We need better ways to evaluate reference lists to reduce citation errors. References are used not only by researchers but also, as primary input for search engine algorithms. PNAS (2021)
Google is carbon neutral and has purchased renewable electricity to match 100% of its electricity usage since 2017; Microsoft, also carbon neutral, has pledged to match renewables by 2025, as has Amazon.
The problem lies in the lack of transparency. None of the data required to calculate the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of an organization is available once they move to the cloud. Cloud vendors’ aggregated global reports do not provide the data needed to understand the environmental footprint. Nature (2020)
CNBC: As of June 2021 worldwide, YouTube reserves the right to monetize any video on the platform, even if their uploader is not a member of the YouTube Partner Program. This will occur on channels whose content is deemed “advertiser-friendly”, and all revenue will go directly to Google without any share given to the uploader.
In Brazil, YouTube has been linked to pushing pseudoscientific misinformation on health matters, as well as elevated far-right fringe discourse and conspiracy theories.
University of North Carolina professor Zeynep Tufekci has referred to YouTube as “The Great Radicalizer“, saying “YouTube may be one of the most powerful radicalizing instruments of the 21st century.” Jonathan Albright of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University described YouTube as a “conspiracy ecosystem“.
- YouTube algorithms are promoting climate denial videos to millions (2020)
- Climate denial ads on Facebook seen by millions, report finds (2020)
- Google made “substantial” contributions towards climate change deniers (2019)
- Three Signs Google Is Turning to the Dark Side (2018)
- How Climate Change Deniers Rise to the Top in Google Searches (2017)
- How did Google become the internet’s censor and master manipulator, blocking access to millions of websites? (2016)