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Comic for November 22, 2019

Dilbert - November 23, 2019 - 12:59am
Categories: Geek

Google bans microtargeting and “false claims” in political ads

Ars Technica - 2 hours 20 min ago

Enlarge / Exterior view of a Googleplex building, the corporate headquarters of Google and parent company Alphabet, May 2018. (credit: Getty Images | zphotos)

The country's largest digital advertising platform is trying to take a stand heading into the 2020 election this week, as it both limits the targeting of political ads and warns would-be political advertisers about making false claims.

On Wednesday, Google made an announcement "clarifying" its advertising policy for political ads, making it clear that outright lies are theoretically not welcome. "Whether you’re running for office or selling office furniture, we apply the same ads policies to everyone; there are no carve-outs," the company said, adding:

It’s against our policies for any advertiser to make a false claim—whether it's a claim about the price of a chair or a claim that you can vote by text message, that election day is postponed, or that a candidate has died.

To make this more explicit, we’re clarifying our ads policies and adding examples to show how our policies prohibit things like “deep fakes” (doctored and manipulated media), misleading claims about the census process, and ads or destinations making demonstrably false claims that could significantly undermine participation or trust in an electoral or democratic process.

That said, the company adds, they can't judge "every political claim, counterclaim, and insinuation," and so they expect the number of ads they block to be low.

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FCC finalizes ban on Huawei and ZTE equipment in Universal Service Fund

Ars Technica - 2 hours 54 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Huawei)

The Federal Communications Commission today voted unanimously to ban Huawei and ZTE equipment in projects paid for by the FCC's Universal Service Fund (USF).

The ban initially affects future projects paid for by the USF and the use of federal funding to maintain existing equipment. But the FCC is also taking public comment on another plan to require removal of Huawei and ZTE equipment from networks that have already been built. The FCC order establishes a process for identifying other companies whose equipment should be subject to the same ban, too.

Huawei and ZTE are the first ban targets because they "have close ties to China's Communist government and military apparatus," FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said. "Both companies are subject to Chinese laws broadly obligating them to cooperate with any request from the country's intelligence services and to keep those requests secret. Both companies have engaged in conduct like intellectual property theft, bribery, and corruption."

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