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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