Google, Facebook Looking To Change Political Ad Policies Under Increasing Pressure

Posted on 08 Nov 2019
It was just last week in October when Twitter CEO, Jack Morsey, announced the ban on political ads on Twitter globally. And now both, Google and Facebook, are looking to make changes in their political ad policy ahead of the US presidential elections.

Google, Facebook Looking To Change Political Ad Policies Under Increasing Pressure
As per the WSJ report, Google has been conducting internal meetings with its employees regarding the change in political ad policy and more information could be shared by the company this week. However, Google hasn't made any announcement regarding what these changes could be and it currently remains unclear when the tech giant would implement a new policy. A Google spokesperson told WSJ that since its advertising policies are uniform across all the platforms including YouTube and Google Search, any change to the policies would be applicable across all these platforms.

SEE ALSO: Facebook shuts down actual news under the cover of 'political ads' policy

Major tech giants including Twitter, Google, and Facebook, have come under scanner for promoting misinformation and propaganda on their platform. Data protection watchdogs have been extra stringent about these companies running political ads ever since the 2018 Facebook Cambridge Analytica Scandal, where a political consulting firm, working for the Trump campaign, used the personal data of millions of Facebook user profiles without their consent and used it to for political advertising purposes.

Now, although Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg refuses to remove political ads from its platform despite increasing public pressure, the company is considering to limit down the politicians' ability to leverage detailed demographic and personal information, which in turn, would help them narrow down the would-be voters with ads. This was further confirmed by the policy chief Nick Clegg in an interview with POLITICO. On the other hand, Jack Morsey, Twitter CEO, how the company believes that political message reach should be earned, not bought, further tweeting a slew of reasons in favor of the decision.

A political message earns reach when people decide to follow an account or retweet. Paying for reach removes that decision, forcing highly optimized and targeted political messages on people. We believe this decision should not be compromised by money.

- jack f30df30ff30e (@jack) October 30, 2019

Internet political ads present entirely new challenges to civic discourse: machine learning-based optimization of messaging and micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes. All at increasing velocity, sophistication, and overwhelming scale.

- jack f30df30ff30e (@jack) October 30, 2019

For instance, itu2018s not credible for us to say: "We're working hard to stop people from gaming our systems to spread misleading info, buuut if someone pays us to target and force people to see their political adu2026well...they can say whatever they want! f609"

- jack f30df30ff30e (@jack) October 30, 2019SEE ALSO: Twitter rejects Facebook's faulty logic and stops running political ads

It appears that only Twitter has taken a strong stand against political advertising as of now, and the other two tech giants are still currently mulling changes to their political ad policy. There's no clear indication if these companies will stop running political ads, and they're only weighing changes like restricting micro-targeting for politicians among others.