Advertising is funding climate denial and hate speech. Here’s why we should care

Advertisers don’t always know they’re funding climate denial, hate speech and some of the worst content on the web. But it is happening right now. In fact, if you’re not using some form of brand safety software and a trusted partner list at the very least, I can guarantee that somewhere, in some dark corner of the web, your advertising is appearing somewhere you wouldn’t want. (Even if you are, it’s still likely, but that’s another podcast).

A couple of weeks ago, I chatted to Asim Hussain on the Climate Fix podcast about climate change denial, hate speech and misinformation and how it’s all funded by advertising online. You can listen here.

Here’s what Asim had to say:

“Harriet brings to light the dark underside of the digital advertising world and the measures that need to be taken to ensure that authentic journalism is funded while fake news is starved, allowing for a better-informed society. Unfortunately, there is quite a lot of complexity to the situation due to how the purchasing of advertising space has changed over the years. Harriet does a splendid job of explaining to us what the barriers are, what we stand to lose if changes aren’t implemented and how our society can grow if they are.

One of the key points brought up within the show was the power that consumers have to control the digital advertising world. An estimated 41% of UK internet users are using an Ad-blocker to roam the internet without interruption, this was said to be the “biggest consumer boycott of all time” by Doc and Joyce Searls. However there are knock-on effects to using such measures and while it may restrict funding to fake new articles you may find yourself accidentally restricting funding for real journalism that’s lifeblood is advertising revenue. Potential solutions to this problem are discussed in this episode.”

Listen to the whole thing here.

Mozilla Fellow and co-chair of the Conscious Advertising Network. Advertising, ethics, AI and climate change. Yes, they do go together.

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