Google updated its inappropriate content policy to clarify “sensitive events.”
This change, happening in February 2024, will apply to Google Ads, Google Merchant Center, Google Adsense, and Admob.
In the documentation, Google states:
“A "Sensitive Event" is an unforeseen event or development that creates significant risk to Google's ability to provide high quality, relevant information and ground truth, and reduce insensitive or exploitative content in prominent and monetized features. During a Sensitive Event, we may take a variety of actions to address these risks.”
Sensitive events include:
- Civil emergencies;
- Natural disasters;
- Public health emergencies;
- Other acts of mass violence.
Google provided examples of what they deem sensitive events, including:
- Products or services that exploit, dismiss, or condone the Sensitive Event, including price gouging or artificially inflating prices that prohibits/restricts access to vital supplies; sale of products or services which may be insufficient for the demand during a sensitive event
- Using keywords related to a sensitive event to attempt to drive additional traffic
- Claims that victims of a sensitive event were responsible for their own tragedy or similar instances of victim blaming; claims that victims of a sensitive event are not deserving of remedy or support; claims that victims from certain countries were responsible or deserving of a global public health crisis
Moving forward, Google will penalize those looking to monetize sensitive events; however, this new policy shouldn’t impact the journalistic reporting of these events.