A Sensitive Event is defined as an unforeseen or unexpected situation that poses a significant risk to Google's ability to provide high-quality, relevant information while reducing insensitive or exploitative content in prominent and monetized features.
Sensitive events can include events with major social, cultural, or political impact, such as civil emergencies, natural disasters, public health crises, terrorism, conflict, or mass acts of violence.
Google is updating its Sensitive Events policy. The updated policy, which takes effect in February 2024, provides a clearer definition of Sensitive Events and outlines specific prohibited practices during such events.
During a Sensitive Event, Google may take a variety of actions to address these risks, including:
- Removing Shopping ads that exploit, dismiss, or condone the Sensitive Event. This includes ads that promote price gouging or artificially inflate prices that restrict access to vital supplies.
- Taking action against advertisers who use keywords related to a Sensitive Event to attempt to drive additional traffic. This includes ads that are misleading or sensational in nature.
- Removing Shopping ads that make claims that victims of a Sensitive Event were responsible for their own tragedy or similar instances of victim blaming. This also includes claims that victims of a Sensitive Event are not deserving of remedy or support.
- Removing Shopping ads that make claims that victims from certain countries were responsible or deserving of a global public health crisis. This type of content is harmful and insensitive and does not align with Google's values.