Google to block political ads after election polls close

Nellie Chapman
September 27, 2020

Google announced Friday it will not run advertisements on its platforms referencing November's elections, including the US presidential race and its results, in the immediate aftermath of polls closing.

Google will halt election advertising after the polls officially close for the US presidential election, the company said on Friday.

The ban forms part of Google's "sensitive events" policy, she said.

Google notified advertisers it will be implementing its sensitive event policy after polls close to restrict a range of political ads referencing candidates and issues up for consideration this Election Day.

Google said the amount of time the block will stay in place has not been determined, as it will have to 'examine a number of factors before deciding to lift this policy'.

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The email said the company would ban election ads, including those that mention state or federal office-holders, candidates, or political parties, as well as ads running on election-related search queries.

It will apply to ads not just about the presidential election but also state and local races. Google applied the policy to block ads related to COVID-19 earlier this year.

Another online giant, Facebook, is also blocking political ads, but will do so ahead of the election. But Facebook is taking it one step further by stopping all new election ads the week prior to Election Day.

Tech platforms are rushing to rewrite policies to ensure that campaign ads do not mislead voters.

Alphabet Inc's Google will block election ads on its platform after the U.S. election on November 3, a company spokeswoman said on Friday. And Twitter has banned all political ads.

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