Google Run Ads Fuel 5G, COVID Conspiracies
Google has reportedly taken action to eradicate placing ads on COVID19 and 5G conspiracy theory sites, following increased scrutiny on the role of digital media in spreading disinformation.
According to Bloomberg, the digital tech giant is placing ads on websites which publish conspiracy theories, inadvertently helping owners profit from content.
Bloomberg found an advertisement for Microsoft 365 independent backup service, Veeam, was placed on top of an article alleging Microsoft Corp founder, Bill Gates, was fuelling a world domination scheme via charitable efforts.
An advertisement for telco provider, O2, reportedly ran above an article linking coronavirus to 5G networks – a common conspiracy theory also perpetuated in Australia.
The ads ran through Google’s automated system which match marketers with websites.
Organisations like the Global Disinformation Index reportedly claim it’s a massive issue that Google needs to take urgent action on, creating a financial incentive for websites to promote conspiracy theories.
Research group, The Global Disinformation Group, found Google placed ads on over 80% of 49 reviewed websites which were running ‘baseless claims’ about coronavirus, including in some cases its link to 5G.