Google Warns Publishers About Their Handling of War in Ukraine

This follows an action taken against Russian state media

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Google has thoughts on how the war in Ukraine should be discussed.
Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Disinformation often accompanies wars, and it can do so in many forms. For social networks attempting to get accurate information to their users, figuring out a way to filter out disinformation is a critical task — and Russian’s invasion of Ukraine has been especially challenging in this regard. For companies like Google, keeping people informed without letting them unwittingly see incorrect information is a constant effort.

Now, according to a recent article in Deadline, Google has gone a step further and threatened publishers with demonetization when it comes to their handling of the war. Publishers whose content is deemed to “exploit” the war is subject to demonetization, for instance.

The article cites a message that Google sent publishers on Friday. Google also cited “claims that imply victims are responsible for their own tragedy or similar instances of victim blaming, such as claims that Ukraine is committing genocide or deliberately attacking its own citizens” as something that might lead to demonetization.

This follows a move Google took in late February, at the beginning of the war, in which they demonetized Russian state media. Whether this latest statement will be the company’s final word on the matter, of it there are more changes ahead, remains to be seen.

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