Google Weighs Changes to Political Ad Policy
By Emily Glazer
Alphabet Inc.'s Google is in discussions about changing its
political ad policy, according to people familiar with the matter,
about a week after Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. publicly diverged
on how to handle those ads amid the spread of misinformation.
Google has been holding internal meetings about changing its
political ad policy and is expected to share more information with
employees this week, the people said, though it is unclear what the
changes will be.
Some Google employees are speculating the changes could be
related to what type of audience targeting the company allows ad
buyers to place.
It's unclear when Google would implement any new policy.
All of Google's advertising policies are uniform across search
and YouTube, and any ad policy change would be reflected across all
of its platforms, a Google spokesperson said.
Last week Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey announced the
company would stop accepting political and issue ads world-wide
starting Nov. 22, with exceptions such as those encouraging voter
registration. Facebook, meanwhile, continues to accept political
ads to run and has said it won't fact-check statements from
politicians, a stance that has largely drawn criticism from those
on the left and praise from the right.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has publicly defended the company's
position and ad-transparency initiatives in recent weeks.
Google has historically accepted political ads, and last month
ran a controversial ad by the Trump campaign that included an
unsubstantiated claim about former Vice President Joe Biden's role
in the ouster of a Ukrainian prosecutor.
The Biden campaign and fellow Democratic presidential candidate
Elizabeth Warren complained to Facebook, which also ran the ad and
declined to take it down.
Google's decisions on this topic have thus far received less
attention than those of Facebook and Twitter.
The scrutiny around digital political speech comes as lawmakers
have increasingly criticized technology companies for not being
responsive enough in stopping the spread of misleading information
in past U.S. elections. Some social platforms have banned ads
related to candidates, political parties and legislation.
--Jeff Horwitz contributed to this article.
Write to Emily Glazer at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 06, 2019 18:21 ET (23:21 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.