Google Tells Publishers They May Be Demonetized For Certain Ukraine War Content

Google is notifying publishers that they needs to tread carefully when producing content that “exploits, dismisses, or condones” the war in Ukraine.

A message sent late on Friday warned publishers that the demonetization extends to “claims that imply victims are responsible for their own tragedy or similar instances of victim blaming, such as claims that Ukraine is committing genocide or deliberately attacking its own citizens.” Google also indicated that it may also demonetize for other reasons.

Google claimed it was already enforcing certain restrictions on communications related to the Ukraine conflict. “When they violated existing policies (for instance, the Dangerous or Derogatory content policy prohibits monetizing content that incites violence or denies tragic events).

The communication was signed by the Google Ad Manager Team.

Google has booted content creators before, including conservative outlets ZeroHedge and The Gateway Pundit. But it has also blocked things like Martin Luther King’s famous “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” in the Atlantic, and other liberal content like an article about the end of slavery that may have been caught in an algorithm honeypot.  .

Google’s YouTube has demonetized content creators for such actions as throwing parties during the pandemic, so-called “low quality” kids videos, and late in February, Russian state media outlets, among other issues.

Dr. Maria Armoudian, a media pundit, college professor and author of Kill the Messenger: The Media’s Role in the Fate of the World, said “It’s worth noting that Google is not doing this with other wars and egregious human rights violations that are also occurring right now. So it’s also worthwhile to notice and to ask if this is going to be a new policy that applies ongoingly, or if this is selective caring about the lives of our fellow human beings.”

Deadline has reached out to Google for clarification on the message regarding Ukraine policies. We will update when they respond.

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