Google to enact political-ad ban for at least one week


Google told advertisers on Wednesday it was pausing all political ads amid the potential for future harm in the aftermath of last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol.

The ad blockade begins on Thursday and last at least one week, until January 21, according to Google’s letter to advertisers. 

“While this policy is in place, advertisers will not be able to run ads referencing candidates, the election, its outcome, the upcoming presidential inauguration, the ongoing presidential impeachment process, violence at the US Capitol, or future planned protests on these topics,” said Google in the letter.

“There will not be any carveouts in this policy for news or merchandise advertisers. This policy will be broadly scoped across ads running through Google Ads, DV360, YouTube, and AdX Authorized Buyer and is intended to block all ads related to the items outlined above.”

Google previously paused ads surrounding the 2020 November election. Following the riot at the Capitol last week, Google expanded its “Sensitive Event policy” to implement the new ad blockade. 

“We regularly pause ads over unpredictable, ‘sensitive’ events when ads can be used to exploit the event or amplify misleading information,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. “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.”

Google has taken several steps in recent days in reaction to the violence at the Capitol. Google removed the anti-Big Tech social media app Parler from its Google Play Store because Google said it observed ongoing posting on the app by users seeking to incite violence. Then on Tuesday evening, Google-owned YouTube locked President Trump out of his channel for at least seven days and removed some content.

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