"Gaming Google: Oil Firms Use Search Ads To Greenwash, Study Says"

"Nearly a year after Google pledged to ban search ads pushing climate disinformation, researchers say they are still rife".

"LOS ANGELES - Google is selling oil firms valuable digital real estate that they use to downplay their role in climate change, despite the search engine giant pledging it would stop taking money for ads that counter the scientific consensus on global warming, a new report shows.

Researchers with the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), a U.S. nonprofit group that studies disinformation online, examined more than 32,000 search ads on Google's U.S. site, paid for by major fossil fuel companies, targeting 61,000 different climate-related queries over the past two years.

It found that the firms were purchasing ads on Google's front page to display to users searching terms like "net zero" and "eco-friendly", filling the space with ads that twisted the facts on climate change or disassembled the companies' track records on planet-heating emissions and pollution."

Avi Asher-Schapiro reports for Thomson Reuters Foundation November 2, 2022.

Source: Thomson Reuters Fdn., 11/04/2022