DEMOCRATS URGE ACTION ON GOOGLE AD POLICY
Senate Democrats on Monday urged Google to improve its ad policies regarding election disinformation and voter suppression, accusing the company of failing even to enforce its own “inadequate” policy.
Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) led the group of eight senators in a letter that called on the tech giant to strengthen the enforcement of its policies regarding election-related disinformation, including rejecting all ads spreading election disinformation and stopping ad services on websites that spread false information.
“Google continues to operate with a narrow and incomprehensive political ads policy that has major loopholes. It is also failing to enforce even this inadequate policy,” the senators wrote. “As a result, the company is profiting from ads that spread voting and election disinformation and helping disinformation sites profit from their lies. Our democracy deserves better.”
Google’s ad policy prohibits “making demonstrably false claims that could significantly undermine participation or trust in an electoral or democratic process,” according to a company update from last year. The update states that it is against the company’s policies for “any advertiser to make a false claim — whether it’s a claim about the price of a chair or a claim that you can vote by text message.”
Despite Google’s policy, the senators cited a study published by The Global Disinformation Index (GDI) in October that found Google services ads on 145 out of 200 websites GDI examines that publish disinformation.