GOOGLE HAS BECOME the latest big tech firm to take action over political advertising.
In an announcement on Wednesday, the ad-platform with search facility confirmed that it would no longer allow political adverts to be targeted specifically at users based on their known political views.
That means that Google will no longer allow political parties to cross-reference its database of supporters against Google's database of users. It won't, however, stop advertisers from profiling by the usual demographics - age, gender, location and the like.
Google has also said that it will take action on reports of misleading information being shared in Google-powered adverts. Instead, users will see an explanation of the omitted content - but there'll be no way to see the offending advert.
The new rules will affect Google Search, including YouTube videos. The policy will roll out "within a week" in Blighty, where we're just over three weeks from a General Election. Other territories will follow.
The move is the latest from a tech company. We've already seen Twitter completely remove political advertising (because it's a grumpy enough place already). Facebook has also clarified its position on what to do in the event of misinformation. Which is precisely f*ck all.
In a blog post, Scott Spencer, a VP at Google Ads explains: "Political advertisers can, of course, continue to do contextual targeting, such as serving ads to people reading or watching a story about, say, the economy.
"This will align our approach to election ads with long-established practices in media such as TV, radio, and print, and result in election ads being more widely seen and available for public discussion."
The decision is unlikely to make a huge difference to Google's bottom line - there's still a whole bunch of reasons to use the remaining, permitted targetting parameters.
What it will mean, however, is that voters won't find themselves trapped in an echo chamber of propaganda designed to appeal to what they already think. μ
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