Google implements new ad policies ahead of US election

Google has updated its policies around advertising ahead of the US Presidential election later this year.

The policies relate to hacked political materials as well as concealing or misrepresenting your identity online when advertising about politics, social issues or matters of public concern.

Google is gearing up for the US election 

The US election is due to take place in November amid a global pandemic and civil unrest. Fellow internet giant Twitter has banned political advertising, with CEO Jack Dorsey saying during his company’s financial results that political reach should be earned, not paid for.

Facebook, meanwhile, has said it is focused on stopping election interference, including removing voter suppression. CEO Mark Zuckerberg also said despite public perceptions, the platform does not rely on politics, news and misinformation, which actually “make up a very small part of the content on our services”.

Google’s new policies take effect from 1 September, 2020.

Ads which direct consumers to sites hosting political materials which have been hacked will not be allowed.

Under the new Google Ads Hacked policy, discussion of and commentary around hacked political material would be allowed, but the ad and landing page must not provide access too, or facilitate direct access to, the hacked materials.

Advertisers in breach of the policy would be given a warning at least seven days before their account was suspended.

The Misrepresentation policy will also be updated “to prohibit coordinating with other sites or accounts and concealing or misrepresenting your identity or other material details about yourself, where your content relates to politics, social issues, or matters of public concern”.

Google said violations of this policy were serious and egregious. Violations will lead to an immediate suspension of a Google Ads account, without prior warning..

CEO of Google and its parent company Alphabet, Sundar Pichai, said last week during its financial results that the scrutiny on internet giants such as Google was warranted given their scale. He also predicted the scrutiny would be around for some time, and said the company would adapt as needed.


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