Alphabet Inc’s Google on last Wednesday in a blog post said that it will not provide the advertisers on the platform with the facility to target users with political ads based on users’ affiliation to a political party or their public voter record.
Ahead of the U.S. presidential election in 2020, social media platforms have been facing mounting pressure over their practices to handle political advertising and Google’s current move corresponds with the same.
For election ads, Google will restrict the targeted audience based on their gender group, general location based on their postal code and to their age groups, said the company. But the political advertisers will remain able to target audiences in certain circumstances like targeting audiences that have been reading certain relevant topics.
In the past, verified political advertisers were able to target the audiences with political ads utilizing the data so collected on the basis of users’ internet usage behaviors like their search interests, to determine or sort out their political affiliations. Political advertisers were also able to upload data like voter file lists to target ads to audiences that have internet traits similar to that of the people in those uploaded lists.
Newly announced policy will be implemented in the United Kingdom this week prior to the general elections in the country schedule on December 12, with intentions of enforcing the approach in the European Union by the end of this year while it will be implemented globally by January 6, 2020.
The changes announced by Google are likely to be diverting some ads of political campaigns towards television or to the likes of Google.
Because of the increasing debate and concerns about political advertising on social media platforms and also because of its importance in building shared trust in democratic practices, Google is in efforts of improving voters’ trust in the political advertisements they would be seeing on the company’s platform, said vice president of product management for Google Ads, Scott Spencer in the blog post.