KEY POINTS

  • “We are putting additional safeguards in place by expanding our harmful health claims policies for both publishers and advertisers to include dangerous content about a health crisis that contradicts scientific consensus,” the company said.
  • Google will only allow certain government institutions and healthcare providers to run ads about the virus. 
  • In 2019, Google received nearly $135 billion in revenue through advertisements.

Tech giant Google announced Friday that it will ban advertisements promoting conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 pandemic. The change will be enacted on Aug. 18, with these ads being removed from single articles or entire websites. 

Google already bans ads that promote anti-vaccine ideas. Advertisements pushing false claims on disease prevention or cures for the virus are also prohibited. 

“We are putting additional safeguards in place by expanding our harmful health claims policies for both publishers and advertisers to include dangerous content about a health crisis that contradicts scientific consensus,” a Google spokesperson told the Verge.

Popular conspiracy theories about the coronavirus include the idea that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is using the pandemic to insert microchip trackers in humans. Another theory ties the virus to next-gen 5G networks. 

“It’s almost hard to deny this stuff because it’s so stupid or strange that even to repeat it gives it credibility,” Gates said in June in response to the unfounded theories.

Google will only allow certain government institutions and healthcare providers to run ads about the virus. 

In 2019, Google received nearly $135 billion in revenue through advertisements. Programs such as AdSense and Ad Manager help companies monetize their websites with Google-administered advertisements.