Google will restrict political advertising around the world
Google will no longer allow political campaigns to target ads to people based on their perceived political beliefs.
Campaign organizers will also not be able to match their own database of potential voters to Google's user base in order to target users to other platforms such as YouTube and Google search..
New policy will start from Great Britain "in a week", and in other regions will be implemented later.
Campaigns will continue to target age, gender and location, zip index of users.
Google added that it will also take action on clearly misleading advertisements. Google explained that advertising with false claims is prohibited, adding that so-called deep fakes are real, but fake video clips are not allowed. Are not also «clearly false» statements that may affect voters' confidence in elections.
The company will also require advertiser verification for a wider range of political messages. Previously, only announcements mentioning candidates or officials for federal office required verification. This will now include advertisements regarding government officials and candidates, as well as voting results..
This is different from Facebook's policy. Mark Zuckerberg stated that his social network will not check the facts of advertisements of political candidates or campaigns. Facebook hasn't made drastic changes to its ad policy, but the issue became a public comment this fall when the social network confirmed that it would not remove false or misleading political ads..
Meanwhile, Twitter will ban political ads entirely. Twitter also placed restrictions on ads related to social issues like climate change or abortion..
Google's new policy puts the company somewhere between these two poles, offering an unchecked approach that filters out only the most obvious misinformation..
Critics strongly condemned Facebook's decision. Twitter also faced backlash from those who considered its ban to be too far-reaching. Even limited Google targeting can get backlash. Critics and civil rights groups have said targeting specific zip codes or other small geographic areas could allow advertisers to discriminate or influence elections.
«We recognize that active political dialogue is an important part of democracy and no one can reasonably rule every political demand, counter-objection, and innuendo, ”wrote Scott Spencer, Google's head of product management for Google Ads, in a blog post published Wednesday … – Therefore, we expect that the number of political announcements on which we take action will be very limited, but we will continue to do so in the event of obvious violations.».
Based on the user's browsing habits, such as which news sites they visit, Google makes an assumption as to whether this user has left-wing or right-wing political views.
In the United States, unlike other countries, political campaigns have the ability to target people based on their political beliefs..
However, campaigners in other countries could upload their own contact lists – such as a database of group members – to Google, which would then match it to users on its service so that ads could reach those people directly..
It will now be prohibited.
«These changes will take some time to implement», – Spencer explained.
«We will begin to apply the new approach in the UK during the week (leading up to the general election), in the EU by the end of the year and in the rest of the world starting January 6, 2020», – reported by google.
Any action taken against ads deemed to violate company policies will be recorded in the Google Transparency Report section..
Details of the deleted ads will be displayed on the page, but the ad itself will not be displayed. Google said that this data will remain downloadable so that it can be independently analyzed..
Political advertising accounts for a relatively small proportion of Google's total ad revenue, which totaled $ 116 billion in 2018..
For example, only £ 171,250 has been spent on political advertising in the UK since March 2019, according to Google..
Google Puts New Limits on Political Advertising
In the United States, $ 128 million has been spent on political campaigns on Google since the region began publishing in May 2018.
Largest sponsor, Trump committee «Make America Great Again», has since spent $ 8.5 million promoting through Google.
In October, President Donald Trump's re-election campaign ran an ad on Google's YouTube platform that falsely accused former Vice President Joe Biden of corruption for his role in Ukrainian politics during the Obama administration..
A Google spokesperson confirmed to CNN Business on Wednesday that ads will still be allowed to run on Google platforms..