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Google to block political ads from November 3, at least till vote count is complete

The delay in vote count would be due to increase in mail-in voting amid the COVID-19 pandemic, experts said

September 27, 2020 / 04:23 PM IST

Google on September 25 informed advertisers in an email that it will block advertisements related to the United States Elections 2020, on all its ad-serving platforms such as YouTube and Google Ads, from November 3.

The tech giant told advertisers they would be unable to run ads “referencing candidates, the election, state or federal office-holders, candidates, or political parties, as well as ads running on election-related search queries, or its outcomes given that an unprecedented amount of votes will be counted after Election Day this year,” Reuters reported.

The delay in vote count would be due to increase in mail-in voting amid the COVID-19 pandemic, experts said.

A spokeswoman for Google said the ban would be in place for a minimum of a week, but date of lifting the ban is not decided. The ban is a part of the company’s ‘sensitive events’ policy and they will thus consider factors such as the time taken for vote count and whether there was civil unrest.

Google’s move comes as social media companies face mounting pressure to control dishonest political ads. Facebook in September said it will stop accepting new political ads in the week before elections and reject those which claim victory before official results are out.

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Notably, some COVID-19 ads have also been banned for lack of sensitivity towards public health emergencies or natural disasters under Google’s ‘sensitive events’ policy.
first published: Sep 27, 2020 04:23 pm

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