Google, the multinational tech giant, has announced updates to its “Inappropriate Content Policy,” to take effect in February 2024 to provide a clearer definition of what constitutes a “Sensitive Event.” The update comes just before the 2024 Super Tuesday, when when the greatest number of U.S. states hold primary elections, caucuses, and presidential preference polls.
The policy update aims to reinforce Google’s commitment to preventing the spread of what it sees as insensitive or exploitative content during critical events that have significant social, cultural, or political impact.
A “Sensitive Event,” according to Google’s updated policy, refers to an unforeseen event or development that poses a substantial risk to Google’s ability to deliver high-quality, relevant information and ground truth.
Google, owned by Alphabet Inc., is a multinational company operated by Bay Area liberals. In the 2020 election cycle, Google employees gave $5,437,048 to Democrat candidates (88% of donations went to Democrats), and $766,920 to Republican candidates (12% of Google employee donations went to Republicans).
During a Sensitive Event, Google may take various actions to uphold its content standards. Examples of Sensitive Events provided by Google include civil emergencies, natural disasters, public health emergencies, acts of terrorism, conflicts, or mass acts of violence. These events can have far-reaching consequences and demand responsible content management, the company said.
To prevent the spread of inappropriate content during Sensitive Events, Google outlined a series of prohibitions in its updated policy, some of which are as follows:
1. Exploitative Products or Services: Google prohibits the promotion and sale of products or services that exploit, dismiss, or condone the Sensitive Event. This includes actions like price gouging, artificially inflating prices to limit access to vital supplies, or offering products or services that are insufficient to meet the demand during a Sensitive Event.
2. Keyword Manipulation: It is against Google’s policy to use keywords related to a Sensitive Event with the intention of driving additional traffic to content that may exploit or misrepresent the situation.
3. Victim Blaming: Google strictly forbids claims that victims of a Sensitive Event were responsible for their own tragedy. This also extends to any insinuations that victims do not deserve support or remedies. Additionally, Google prohibits claims that victims from specific countries were responsible for a global public health crisis.
The policy updates come as Google continues to refine its content moderation practices to maintain the type of messaging it prefers on its platforms.
By providing a more precise definition of “Sensitive Events” and outlining specific prohibitions, Google is exerting greater influence over messaging during times of crisis.
Recently, Google, which owns YouTube, has removed several channels operated by people who represent political ideas the company doesn’t approve of.
Google, which sent out the notice about the “Sensitive Event” policy update on Thursday, encourages its users to report any content that violates these updated policies, as community feedback plays a crucial role in identifying and removing inappropriate content from its platforms.