Google May Change Political Ad Policy

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey accompanied by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in Washington

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey accompanied by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in Washington

Facebook said on Thursday a doctored video shared by Britain's governing Conservatives would not have broken its rules on political advertising if it had run as a paid-for ad. "Ads from political parties and political candidates are not subject to our fact-checking rules", Rebecca Stimson, Facebook's head of UK Public Policy, told reporters on a call to explain the company's policies ahead of Britain's December 12 election.

"From a business perspective, a very small percent of our business that is made from political ads does not come close to justifying the controversy this incurs for our company", said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. During recent internal meetings, the company has weighed options to rein in the ads, including a plan to set rules for audience targeting.

Google didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. The Wall Street Journal reported the news earlier on Wednesday. The firestorm began with an October ad from President Donald Trump's re-election campaign that erroneously claimed Democratic front-runner Joe Biden bribed Ukrainian officials.

While Facebook and Google recently revealed that they are mulling to change their political ad policies, the micro-blogging site Twitter said that it will ban posting political ads on its platforms. Facebook refused to remove the ad, prompting criticism of the social network operator.

There were many reports that surfaced a few months ago that Google faced fines after 14-Russia backed YouTube channels generated millions in revenue from advertisements, even though they hadn't been labeled as a state-sponsored platform.

Social media giants are scratching heads to make changes to their respective policies on political ad campaigns on their platforms after a whole debate has triggered worldwide regarding the lack of transparency deployed by them.

WSJ reported similar talks are beginning at Google about whether the political ad policy needs changes, but didn't report any details about what might be changed.

He said Facebook did not want to stifle political speech. Google has mostly avoided scrutiny on this issue so far. Among other measures, the employees say the company should prohibit political campaigns from using microtargeting techniques.

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