Google to now show who is behind U.S. political ads

Chicago Mayor Daley Announces Initiative With Google

Chicago Mayor Daley Announces Initiative With Google

"Our work on elections goes far beyond improving policies for advertising", Google senior vice president Kent Walker said in a blog post.

To kick things off, Google will be verifying the identity of election advertisement buyers, including confirming they're either a lawful permanent resident or a United States citizen.

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Walker also proclaimed that Google has also introduced Jigsaw Protect Your Elections Toolkit, which can be called as a direct response to the interference of Russian Federation in several elections globally. The company will let users see what organization is behind the ad, what their political affiliations are, how many impressions the ad received and even how much money is being spent on it. We expect this will help more campaigns and officials who are often the targets of sophisticated phishing attacks. This week, we're rolling out new policies for USA election ads across our platforms as we work to meet those commitments. What this means is that advertisers will have to furnish their government-issued ID and other key information before they're allowed to buy election ads on Google. Ads will have to clearly disclose who is paying for them, according to Walker. Later this summer the Mountain View ads giant will also be drafting its first election ad transparency report. Facebook previous year announced that only authorised advertisers would be permitted to run election ads at the leading social network and its photo and video-sharing service Instagram.

Google is following in the footsteps of Facebook and Twitter by making changes to the ways that it handles political ads in the USA to avoid another Russian interference scandal.

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Google's new verifications, however, will be focused on ads about candidates and not on political and social messages.

In a bid to better understand people who is paying for an election ad on Google, the company says that it's now requiring that such ads have a clear disclosure of who paid for them. This data was later used to profile and influence American voters.

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Google has branched outside the technology industry in order to protect election integrity.

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