When tech companies roll out new policies, it’s usually after long periods of meticulous internal discussion and review. Big reversals aren’t the norm.
Then Covid-19 hit.
As the looming threat of the coronavirus began hitting the U.S. in February, many tech companies started to roll out new ad policies.
Google most nongovernmental Covid-19 advertising in early February. YouTube suit shortly after, demonetizing videos about the coronavirus so its advertisers wouldn’t see their ads placed on unpleasant coronavirus content.
Both companies, owned by Alphabet, classified the coronavirus as a “sensitive topic,” which is typically reserved for things like school shootings or natural disasters — short-term events that bad actors could capitalize on to earn money from Google’s advertising partners. …