January 27, 2023

I'm so old, I remember when Google's motto was "Don't be evil" -- and we believed them! But times have changed to the point where Ben Shapiro's Daily Wire can pay Google to advertise on search pages questioning whether the climate crisis is real. Via The Guardian:

The Daily Wire bought ads on search terms over the past year such as “climate change is a hoax” and “why is climate change fake,” meaning that when people Googled these phrases, stories from Shapiro’s outlet were some of the first results that appeared, the research found.

Google sold these ads even after announcing a new policy in October 2021 prohibiting ads that promote climate crisis denial. Its CEO, Sundar Pichai, publicly stated at the time that “when people come to Google Search with questions about climate change, we’ll show authoritative information from sources like the United Nations.”

“Google’s hypocrisy knows no bounds,” said Imran Ahmed, CEO of the US and UK-based Center for Countering Digital Hate, which provided its research exclusively to the Guardian. “They’re actually selling the right to climate deniers to spread disinformation.”

The Daily Wire has a huge reach:

In November 2021, the Center for Countering Digital Hate named The Daily Wire in a report as one of the top ten spreaders of climate disinformation on Facebook, along with other far-right outlets such as Breitbart, Newsmax and the Western Journal. Shapiro’s outlet, which reported more than $100m in revenue in 2021, was started with $4.7m in seed funding from Texas fracking billionaire Farris Wilks.

In its latest research, the center said it found multiple instances of The Daily Wire promoting climate crisis denial through its Google advertisements. When people Googled the phrase “climate change debunk” in April 2022, one of the top results they were shown was an article authored by Shapiro entitled “Debunking Climate Change Hysteria”.

Google, of course, prides itself on its aggressive sustainability policies, while at the same time allowing Ben Shapiro to do his misinformation things.

Hey Google, isn't that... evil?

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