Google took a new move Wednesday to increase transparency on political ads on its platform by releasing an online library of US political ads and a report on details of ad-expenditure ahead of the mid-term US elections in November this year. Google said the addition of the political advertising report and the new Ad Library are new transparency features aimed at implementing new requirements for any advertiser purchasing election ads on Google in the US, Xinhua reported.

With the introduction to the new policies, Political Advertisers have to provide and the government issued id card, prior to running any kind of political ads and other key information that confirms they are a US citizen or lawful permanent resident in the country. The measures are apparently an updated response to disputes on social media networks that Russia had been involved in U.S. presidential elections in 2016, an allegation that has been rejected repeatedly by Moscow.

Google is running a searchable archive Wednesday where people can find all data and details about political ads via its Search engine and YouTbue, including promotions for a candidate for a federal elected office or a sitting official. The library allows users to search who pays for the ads, the costs of deploying the advertising and how long the ads will be running, plus the number of page views.

The US tech giant has agreed to give the public and third parties direct access to the archive through Google Cloud’s BigQuery, where anyone can write code and run their own unique queries on this data set. “Researchers, political watchdog groups, and private citizens can use our data set to develop charts, graphs, tables or other visualizations of political advertising on Google Ads services,” said Michee Smith, the product lead on the company’s transparency report.

You can view the total web archive at Google Transparency Reports.

Source: News18

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