Google has clear publisher policies designed to ensure a positive experience for users and to protect brands from having their ads run alongside inappropriate or harmful content. We enforce these policies – whether via automated tools or human review – consistently and fairly across all publishers in our network.
To help publishers stay up to date on our content criteria for monetization, we sometimes reshare existing guidance, particularly when we see worrisome trends or areas of potential confusion. Recently, we have seen an uptick in content that violates certain policies and we want to provide a reminder of our current requirements for all publishers.
We do not allow content that promotes harmful health claims, or relates to a current, major health crisis and contradicts authoritative scientific consensus. This includes claims that COVID-19 is not real, false claims about vaccines, and unsubstantiated remedies or treatments. Additionally, we also have a policy that prohibits content promoting anti-vaccine theories, which, in recent months, have often accompanied misinformation around the COVID-19 pandemic.
We do not allow content that incites hatred and violence, promotes discrimination or disparages groups of people. This includes content promoting hate groups or content that harasses, intimidates, or bullies an individual or group of individuals.
We do not allow claims that are demonstrably false and could significantly undermine participation or trust in an electoral or democratic process. This includes content about the 2020 U.S. Presidential election that claims voter fraud was widespread, or claims that the results of the election are illegitimate.
We often see these types of violations in user-generated content – typically comments sections. It’s important to note that user-generated content is subject to all of our content policies and publishers are responsible for moderating these features. This means that if we find user comments that violate our policies we will remove Google ads from that page or on the entire site if those violations are pervasive. We have previously shared resources and guidance on some of the practices that publishers can employ to implement user comments in a policy compliant way, as well as a dedicated segment in our new educational series for Google publishers.
We recognize that not all policy violations are intentional. That’s why we often begin our enforcement by removing ads at the page-level – allowing us to take more precise action against violating content and share feedback, while allowing ads to remain alongside the rest of your good content. We escalate our enforcement to the site or account-level if violations are persistent or egregious.
While our platforms are open to all and we welcome robust debate and discussions on all types of issues, advertisers have repeatedly made clear they do not want their ads to appear alongside the types of violative content we outlined above. As always, we share enforcement decisions directly with you in your Policy Center to help you with future compliance efforts and to give you the option to appeal actions we take. If an appeal is successful, ads will be reinstated.