Google this week announced an update to the Sensitive Events policy. Under the updated policy, a "Sensitive Event" is defined as an unforeseen event or development that poses a 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 Sensitive Events, Google may take a range of actions to mitigate these risks, such as temporarily pausing or restricting certain types of products or services, or increasing monitoring and enforcement efforts.
Examples of Sensitive Events
The updated policy provides examples of Sensitive Events that may arise, including:
- Civil emergencies, such as natural disasters or conflict
- Public health emergencies, such as outbreaks of infectious diseases
- Terrorism and related activities
- Mass acts of violence
Content Prohibited During Sensitive Events
The updated policy also outlines specific types of content that are prohibited during Sensitive Events. These include:
- Products or services that exploit, dismiss, or condone the Sensitive Event. This could include, for instance, price gouging or artificially inflating prices that restrict access to essential supplies.
- Using keywords related to a Sensitive Event to drive additional traffic. This practice is considered exploitative and can trivialize or sensationalize the event.
- Making claims that victims of a Sensitive Event were responsible for their own tragedy or similar instances of victim blaming. This type of content is insensitive and can cause further harm to those already affected by the event.
- Claiming that victims of a Sensitive Event are not deserving of remedy or support. This is a disrespectful and harmful statement that contradicts Google's values.
- Making claims that victims from certain countries were responsible or deserving of a global public health crisis.This type of generalization is insensitive and can promote prejudice and discrimination.
Implications for Advertisers
The updated Sensitive Events policy will have several implications for advertisers using Google's products and services. Advertisers should familiarize themselves with the revised definition of Sensitive Events and take steps to ensure their content aligns with Google's guidelines. This includes avoiding content that exploits, dismisses, or condones Sensitive Events, as well as refraining from using keywords or making claims that could be insensitive or harmful to victims of such events.
Google's updated Sensitive Events policy demonstrates the company's commitment to providing a safe and respectful environment for users during times of crisis. By clarifying the definition of Sensitive Events and prohibiting certain types of content, Google aims to prevent insensitive or exploitative advertising practices that could further harm those affected by these events. Advertisers should be mindful of these guidelines to ensure their campaigns align with Google's values and contribute positively to the online community.