Google vows to curb political ad targeting
Google has vowed to ban advertisements which target people based on their political leanings, as the debate over digital ads intensifies ahead of the upcoming US presidential election.
The tech giant has said it will reduce audience targeting for election ads to age, gender and general location at a postal code level.
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The move to limit the scope of election audience advertisements echoes a similar decision by Twitter, which said earlier this month that it would seek to ban almost all political advertising.
“Whether you’re running for office or selling office furniture, we apply the same ads policies to everyone; there are no carve-outs,” Google Ads executive Scott Spencer wrote yesterday.
Spencer said that “given recent concerns and debates about political advertising, and the importance of shared trust in the democratic process, we want to improve voters’ confidence in the political ads they may see on our ad platforms”.
Google’s move will start in the UK “within a week”, coming into effect ahead of the 12 December election.
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Fellow Silicon Valley heavyweight Facebook has yet to make a similar move, with founder Mark Zuckerberg exempting politicians from its third-party fact-checking program.
The decision allows politicians to run advertisements which make potentially false claims.