Google is amping up its fight against coronavirus—related misinformation by banning ads that “[contradict] authoritative scientific consensus” about the pandemic. That means websites and apps can no longer make money from running advertisements promoting debunked conspiracy theories about COVID-19. Those include claims that the virus was created in a Chinese lab, that the pandemic is a hoax and that Bill Gates was behind it.
According to Bloomberg, Google will start enforcing the new rule next month. And in addition to blocking advertisers from creating new ads, it will use human and machine reviewers to find and take action against publishers and advertisers who break the rule. It will also ban those who repeatedly violate its new policy from using its ad platform. As a Google spokesperson explained, the new rule expands the company’s policy against harmful health claims, such as miracle health cures and things that promote anti—vaccination ideas, on the internet: