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Google will make it more difficult to earn money with online web pages and videos about Zwarte Piet and Roetveegpiet, confirms Google Netherlands after reporting from RTL Z. The company will also no longer display advertisements about this.

Google doesn’t want to get in the way of debate

The tightening of the policy is because “Google is committed to equality and diversity,” said a spokesman.

With the new policy, Google blocks ads for videos about Roetveegpiet or Zwarte Piet on YouTube, a subsidiary of Google.

The new policy also has consequences for web pages on which Zwarte Piet or Roetveegpiet can be seen. There will soon no longer be allowed to show advertisements via Google’s networks.

Why the policy also applies to Roetveegpiet, the Google spokesperson could not say. Action group Kick Out Zwarte Piet sees the soot sweeper as a non-racist alternative to Zwarte Piet.

The changes are likely to have a major impact on these pages: Google is one of the largest providers of online advertising in the world. The new policy will take effect sometime “in the coming weeks”.

Videos of Zwarte Piet may still appear on YouTube under certain conditions, because Google “does not want to hinder the public debate”. However, it will no longer be possible to make money with it.

An exception to the new advertising rules around Zwarte Piet applies to “web pages that are educational or journalistic in nature”, according to Google Netherlands.

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