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Google bans political advertising until inauguration

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Google said that because of the violent uprising in the Capitol last week, it would not allow political ads on its platforms until after inauguration day.

In a letter to advertisers on Wednesday, the company said the suspension would affect any advertisements relating to candidates, the election or their outcome, the impending presidential inauguration, impeachment proceedings, the Capitol riots or planned protests on any of these issues . There are no exceptions for news or merchandise advertisers.

The break comes into effect on Thursday and lasts at least until January 21st. Google is the biggest advertising vehicle on the internet. In addition to displaying advertisements on its own services like its search engine and YouTube, it runs a powerful advertising platform and exchange that other websites and publishers rely on. The policy change was previously reported by Axios.

Sundar Pichai, chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet, told the Reuters Next conference on Wednesday that the company had significantly changed how it handled political ads and election misinformation related to the election, but admitted that more work was needed be done.

“The Internet as a whole has to come to terms with what kind of information can be disseminated,” said Mr. Pichai. “There is definitely more to be done on our side.”

Google treated last week’s riot as a “sensitive incident,” a label it normally assigns to natural disasters or mass shootings, and bans advertisements attempting to exploit the tragedy. Google applied this policy for a month after the election, banning political advertising to prevent advertising from spreading misinformation. Last week, in the immediate aftermath of the uprising, Google initially refused to accept ads related to the event.

After polling stations closed on November 3rd, Facebook also put restrictions on political advertising in the US to minimize the spread of election-related misinformation.

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