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Google to bring transparency to US political ads

Highlights:

  • Google to show who is paying for the advertisements.
  • Advertisers will be prohibited from running political ads – electoral or issue-based – until they are authorized.
  • Advertisers will have to provide a government-issued ID and other key information.

Google today said that people looking to place US political ads on its platform will need to show identification, and make clear who is paying. Policy changes being rolled out come as online ad ‘duopoly’ Google and Facebook strive to avoid being used to spread misleading or divisive ads aimed at voters.

“Our work on elections goes far beyond improving policies for advertising,” Google senior vice president Kent Walker said in a blog post 1.

“We’re investing heavily in keeping our own platforms secure and working with campaigns, elections officials, journalists, and others to help ensure the security of the online platforms that they depend on.”, Google promised last year to make political advertising more transparent.

According to Walker, new policies for US election ads were a ‘first step’ in fulfilling that vow. Google also said that it will require anyone seeking to buy election ads in the US to prove they are legal residents, as required by law. “That means advertisers will have to provide a government-issued ID and other key information,” Walker added. Also, those ads would have to clearly mention who is paying for those kind of words making the process very fluid and open to all.

Read more: Android P : What we expect from Google I/O 2018

A similar announcement was made by the Social Media Giant Facebook 2, in which they told us that, only authorized advertisers would be permitted to run election ads at the leading social network and its photo and video-sharing service Instagram.

In April, Facebook extended that rule to “issue ads” such as hot-button political topics in the US.

“We are working with third parties to develop a list of key issues, which we will refine over time,” Facebook vice presidents Rob Goldman and Alex Himel said in a blog post.

“Advertisers will be prohibited from running political ads – electoral or issue-based – until they are authorized.” Political ads will be marked as such, and include information about who paid for them, according to Facebook.

As per the technology giants, these policies are designed to prevent future abuse in elections. Hopefully, it will reduce the chances of fake advertisements appearing on internet very soon.

Let us know your own opinion regarding these advertisement transparency policies made by these tech giants on our Twitter handle @TechIncludes.

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Written by Snehasish Nayak

Google Top Contributor (Allo, Duo), a Local Guide, and Founder of TechIncludes. Follow me on twitter @Th3Snehasish.

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