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Google Ads Updates Inappropriate Content Policy in Relation to Sensitive Events

January 11th, 2024

In a bid to uphold the quality and relevance of information while curbing insensitive or exploitative content, Google has outlined its approach to managing “Sensitive Events.” These unforeseen occurrences pose a substantial risk to the tech giant’s capacity to deliver accurate ground truth.

Sensitive Events encompass a spectrum of incidents with profound social, cultural, or political implications, including but not limited to civil emergencies, natural disasters, public health crises, terrorism, conflicts, and mass acts of violence. During such events, Google has committed to taking diverse actions to mitigate potential risks and will update their inappropriate content policy in February to clarify the definition of sensitive events.

To safeguard against the exploitation or dismissal of Sensitive Events, Google has implemented a set of prohibitions. These include restrictions on products or services that exploit, dismiss, or condone such events, including practices like price gouging or artificially inflating prices that hinder access to essential supplies. The sale of products or services inadequately meeting demand during a sensitive event is also strictly prohibited.

Google also prohibits the use of keywords related to a sensitive event with the intention of driving additional traffic. This measure is aimed at preventing the manipulation of online content during times of heightened sensitivity.

In an effort to combat misinformation and insensitivity, Google is actively prohibiting claims that victims of a sensitive event were responsible for their own tragedy or engaging in victim blaming. Similarly, any assertions suggesting that victims are undeserving of remedy or support, or that victims from specific countries bear responsibility for a global public health crisis, are strictly forbidden.

By implementing these measures, Google aims to maintain the integrity of its information services and contribute to a responsible and reliable online environment during times of heightened sensitivity and crisis.

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