After Twitter, Google ponders possibility of changing its political ad policy

Google has reportedly been holding several discussions to change its political ad policy

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Tech giant Google is in discussions about changing its political ad policy, reported The Wall Street Journal. This comes after Facebook and Twitter have publicly revealed their stance regarding publishing political ads on their platform. Reports suggest that Google has been holding several meetings discussing the possible changes to its political ad policy and is most likely to share the information with its employees later this week.

However, it is unclear when the search and tech giant will implement the new policy. All of Google's advertising policies are uniform across the search and YouTube platforms and any change in ad policies would reflect in all the platforms. Their parent company Alphabet gets more than 80 per cent of its revenue from advertising, most of it from the YouTube.

In its website, Google clearly states that it supports responsible political advertising and expects all political advertisements to comply with the legal requirements. Google further states that it does not allow ads that intend to deceive users by excluding relevant details or giving misleading information about products, services and businesses.

However, Google has come under heavy scrutiny for its inability to control policy violators from spreading false information, especially on YouTube. In June, Reuters reported that 14 Russia-backed YouTube channels generated billions of views and millions in revenue from advertisements, even though they hadn't been labelled as a state-sponsored platform.

Google has faced fines in the aftermath of the incident. Last month, Google drew ire after it ran a controversial ad by the Trump campaign that included an alleged claim about US Vice President Joe Biden's involvement in the ouster of a Ukrainian prosecutor.

Their decision to mull changes to its political ad campaign comes shortly after Twitter and Facebook revealed the policies on political ad campaigns on their platforms. While Twitter stated that it will no longer allow posting political ads on its platform, Facebook said that it will allow political leaders to post their political campaigns.

Facebook received immense flak from all fronts for using its platform and applications to spread misinformation. Many big tech firms all over the world have landed in soup for failing to safeguard individuals' privacy and spreading misinformation during election seasons in various countries.

This article was first published on November 7, 2019
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