Google to ban political ads after polls close after 3 November US presidential election, as internet companies face pressure to control misinformation
Google is to ban advertisers from running election-related ads on its platforms after the close of polls in the US presidential election on 3 November.
The company announced the move in an email to advertisers on Friday, as earlier reported by Axios.
Google said in the email that advertisers wil not be able to run ads “referencing candidates, the election or its outcome” after the close of polls.
The restriction is due to the “unprecedented” number of votes expected to be counted after the day of the election this year, Google said.
More voters than usual are expected to vote by post this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
As a result, the election results are expected to be delayed until sometime after the day of the election.
Google said in the email the ban includes ads that mention state or federal office-holders, candidates or political parties, as well as ads linked to election-related search queries.
A Google representative said the ban is expected to be in place for at least a week.
The company said it will consider factors including the time taken for the votes to be counted and whether there was civil unrest in deciding when to lift the restriction.
The ban covers all of Google’s ad-serving platforms, including YouTube and Google Ads.
Google made the move under its “sensitive events” policy, which has also been used to block some Covid-19 related ads.
The policy bars certain types of content related to events such as public health emergencies or natural disasters.
Internet and social media companies are under pressure to control misinformation around the election and its result.
Facebook has said it will stop accepting new political ads in the week before the election and would bar ads seeking to claim victory before the official results are declared, while Twitter banned all political ads last year.
Google has previously limited the way election advertisers can target voters.
Twitter has also added extra security measures to high-profile election-related accounts, following a major hack of the platform earlier this year.