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article imageGoogle stops running some political ads in Washington state

By Ken Hanly     Jun 10, 2018 in Internet
Mountain View - Google has stopped running any ads in Washington state that are related to ballot measures or state and local elections. The company said it will notify any advertisers affected and update its political content policy to reflect this change.
New state advertising rules caused Google's move
The new rules require companies to keep detailed records of who is paying for the ads. Digital advertisers must hold information on the targeted areas and reach of each ad. Google said the ad shutdown would just be temporary.
A Google spokesperson said: “We take transparency and disclosure of political ads very seriously which is why we have decided to pause state and local election ads in Washington, starting June 7, while we assess the amended campaign disclosure law and ensure that our systems are built to comply with the new requirements."
Washington State has filed a lawsuit against both Google and Facebook
Washington State, just before the Google decision, filed a lawsuit against Google as well as Facebook. The attorney general claims that the two companies have already failed to comply with the rules for transparency and record keeping for political ads.
Facebook has been trying to strengthen rules of political ads after Russian propaganda ads were run on the site during the election of Trump. However, the new rules are causing plenty of problems as outlined in a recent Digital Journal article. Some who are running ads about politics that are just news or publicizing books are having to go through the process of verification that they are political advertisers, otherwise their ads are pulled or not even run.
Rob Leathern, Facebook director of product management said: “The tools we are introducing set a new standard for transparency in digital advertising. We are eager to hear people’s feedback as they use these features and will continue to explore how to build upon them to ensure people know who is behind the political ads they see on Facebook. Attorney General Ferguson has raised important questions and we look forward to resolving this matter with his office quickly.”
Google support lists the rules for election ads: "We support responsible political advertising and expect all political ads and destinations to comply with local campaign and election laws for any areas they target. This policy includes legally mandated election “silence periods.”" With some restrictions political ads are allowed for political organizations, parties, political issue advocacy or fund-raising, and individual candidates and politicians.
Google LLC is an American multinational technology company. It specializes in online ad technology, a search engine, cloud computing, software and hardware. In 2018 it had 85,050 employees. In August of 2015 Google consolidated its different interests in a conglomerate called Alphabet. Google LLC is now a subsidiary of Alphabet. It is headquartered in Menlo Park California.
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