Google rolls out updates to USA election ad policy

Glen Norman
May 8, 2018

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

The tech giant will now require that customers who buy political ads that appear to U.S users provide a government issued ID and "other key information" to confirm that they are USA citizens or permanent residents, Google said on Friday.

Walker also proclaimed that Google has also introduced Jigsaw Protect Your Elections Toolkit, which can be called as a direct response to the interference of Russian Federation in several elections globally.

Google has announced new election advertisement policies rolling out this week.

Google has also developed a set of tools aimed at helping those at greater risk of online attacks called "Protect Your Election" and has partnered with the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Harvard Kennedy School's Digital Democracy Project to provide security training for elected officials, campaigns, and staff members.

Ad buyers can do so with a government-issued ID and the more vague "other key information". Ads will have to clearly disclose who is paying for them, according to Walker.

Google will come out with a Transparency Report in summer which will describe who is buying election-related ads on our platforms and how much money is being spent.

Apart from Google, Facebook and Twitter both have been involved in similar scandals. Facebook past year announced that only authorised advertisers would be permitted to run election ads at the leading social network and its photo and video-sharing service Instagram.

Google has revealed the new rules for political advertising to approach the midterm election to be held in 2018.

The company is also building a public library for election ads - this will allow anyone to find election ads and see who paid for them. This data was later used to profile and influence American voters.

We are also working across the industry and beyond to strengthen protections around elections. The updates at Facebook were "designed to prevent future abuse in elections", they explained.

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