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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Google to Suspend Political Ads At Least Through Biden’s Inauguration

Google will stop selling political ads at least until after President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, it was reported Wednesday.

Google released a statement saying it would “temporarily pause all political ads in addition to any ads referencing impeachment, the inauguration, or protests at the U.S. Capitol,” per Reuters.

The move takes effect Thursday. The company said it will make no exceptions for news organizations or merchandisers.

The ban will apply to ads running through Google’s ad tech platforms, including Google Ads, DV360, YouTube, and AdX Authorized Buyer.

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In an email to advertisers seen by Reuters, Google said it took action “following the unprecedented events of the past week and ahead of the upcoming presidential inauguration.”

Google’s plans surfaced a week after demonstrators protesting the election results stormed the Capitol. Five people died as a result of the riot.

“Given the events of the past week, we are extremely vigilant about enforcing on any ads that might reasonably be construed as crossing this line,” the email read per Axios.

Biden will be sworn in next Wednesday, Jan. 20.

“We regularly pause ads over unpredictable, ‘sensitive’ events when ads can be used to exploit the event or amplify misleading information,” Google said. “Beyond this, we have long-standing policies blocking content that incites violence or promotes hate and we will be extremely vigilant about enforcing on any ads that cross this line.”

A Google spokeswoman said the company had been employing a limited version of its “Sensitive Event” policy since the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol.

Google had lifted a temporary ban on election-related advertisements Dec. 10. That ban had taken effect after polls closed in the November presidential election and was aimed to curb misinformation and other abuses on its platforms.

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