Google helped Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire spread climate disinformation online by selling the outlet millions of dollars of advertising, revealed a new report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate. By selling ads to the popular conservative disinformation site for searches like “climate change is a hoax” and “is global warming a scam,” Google ensured the climate disinformation at the Daily Wire — founded with $4.7 million of fracking magnate and co-owner Farris Wilks’ money — would be the top result for those searches.
The report shows that yet again, Google’s October 2021 policy announcement to prohibit ads “referring to climate change as a hoax or a scam” appears to be unenforced until researchers bring ads to the company’s attention.
“Google has rules against their search ads being used to spread disinformation,” said CCDH head Imran Ahmed, “they should be enforcing them, even against people who give them lots of money.”
The report, produced with the commercial analytics tool Semrush, found Google could have sold as much as $60 million of advertising to the Daily Wire over two years on searches for 150 climate search subjects and a range of others, from the “argument against reparations,” and “why does george soros hate america,” to “george floyd cause of death,” linking to a Daily Wire page falsely claiming Floyd died of a fentanyl overdose instead of police violence. (The Guardian)