Social media is polarizing. While it’s done a lot of good for society, bringing people together, it’s also responsible for fomenting a lot of anger and distrust. From conspiracy theories to tools for radicalization, and the hostility that some users experience, social media services are responsible for amplifying anger, hatred, and racism.
A lot of the effects of social media depend on how we use these services. The problem with social media is that it thrives on “engagement,” and anger and fear or powerful ways of getting people to engage (like posts, comment on them, share them, etc.). The more engagement on social media, the more views, and the more ad revenue the companies make.
Many people are deciding to change the way they use social media: either curtail their usage, or stop using some social media services entirely.
It’s one of the most aggressive measures any major tech platform has taken to combat climate change misinformation.
Details: Google advertisers and publishers, as well as YouTube creators, will be prohibited from making ad revenue off content that contradicts “well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change,” the company’s ads team said in a statement.
- “This includes content referring to climate change as a hoax or a scam, claims denying that long-term trends show the global climate is warming, and claims denying that greenhouse gas emissions or human activity contribute to climate change.”
- Ads and monetization will still be allowed to run alongside other climate-related topics, like public debates on climate policy, impacts of climate change, and new research around the issue.
The next time you search on Google for a dishwasher or dryer, you may see a new energy-efficient option on the screen. Look up driving directions on Google Maps, and a path will appear, with a tiny leaf, showing the most fuel-efficient route.
These features are part of a barrage of updates Alphabet Inc.’s Google introduced on Wednesday designed to steer people toward more environmentally friendly decisions. The overhauls include features for consumer searches on flights, hotels, finance, home appliances and electric vehicles. Google is also revamping search results for queries related to climate change, displaying select material from science agencies and news outlets rather than its standard links.
“Individually, these choices might feel small,” Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive officer, said during a virtual presentation. “But when you multiply them together across our products, it’s going to equal big transformations for the planet.”