Google lifts pause on political ads that started after Capitol riot

The logo of Alphabet Inc’s Google outside the company’s office in Beijing, China, August 8, 2018.

Thomas Peter | Reuters

Google is once again letting political ads run on its platform following a pause that began after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

“Starting on Wednesday, we will be lifting our Sensitive Events policy to again allow advertisers to run political ads,” Google said in an emailed statement to CNBC. “We will continue to rigorously enforce our ads policies, which strictly prohibit demonstrably false information that could significantly undermine trust in elections or the democratic process.”

An email sent to advertisers by Google said starting Wednesday, advertisers will once again be able to run placements that are in scope of its election ads policy, which include those that mention a current state or federal officeholder or candidate, political party or ballot measure. It also includes ads that reference federal or state elections within the ad and any ads running on election-related search queries, including on candidates or officeholders. 

Google has been temporarily pausing some advertising to prevent the exploitation or misinformation, it has said. When the company implemented an advertisement halt in January ahead President Joe Biden‘s inauguration, Google said it regularly pauses ads regarding “sensitive” events when they could be used to exploit the event or amplify misleading information.

Google also paused election-related advertising following the November vote. That halt was lifted roughly a month later. The company had banned those ads for a period of time in an attempt to prevent potential exploitation or misinformation via advertising since it expected delayed election results.

The news was first reported by Axios. 

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