Google announced on Friday that it will begin banning advertisements from running next to content that promotes conspiracy stories about the coronavirus.
According to CNBC, the company will also prohibit publishers from running advertisements that promote conspiracy theories. Additionally, if a website publishes a certain amount of material that violates these policies, Google will ban the entire site from using its ad platform.
Google already prohibits advertisements on content that makes dangerous claims about unproven health cures or disease prevention, including anti-vaccine campaigns. It is now extending that policy to ban ads against content that makes claims contrary to scientific consensus.
Banned claims include conspiracy theories, such as assertions that potential vaccines will genetically modify the population, that COVID-19 was created in a Chinese lab as a bioweapon, that it was created by Microsoft Corp founder Bill Gates, or that the virus is a hoax, Google said in a statement.
Google will allow only certain institutions to run ads about the coronavirus pandemic, including government organizations and healthcare providers, to prevent activities like price-gouging on medical supplies.