Updated: May 21
In their 2019 environmental report, Google stated that "climate change is one of the most significant global challenges of our time, and continued greenhouse gas emissions pose an existential threat to humanity".
Yet according to research recently published by Avaaz, YouTube's recommendation algorithm continues to serve up the disinformation and bad science of climate change deniers every day...monetising and legitimising this content by surrounding it with the advertising of blue-chip advertisers.
The constant defence of 'neutrality' by the likes of Google and Facebook (because they are just as bad) on this AI issue is anything but, as it allows the perpetuation-through-promotion of information that isn't just false but catastrophically dangerous, given it a veneer of truth and respectability at the same time.
For businesses who are genuinely committed to this issue, and not just paying green-wash lip service, it's time to take a side and hold the social media platforms to account by turning off the ad investment that feeds them.
Because money talks, and is the only thing that will force them to get their house in order.
And as their agencies (media agencies in particular) we should be challenging our clients to think in this way rather than collaborating with them in endorsing dangerous falsehoods (which stretch way beyond the climate).