Dec 2, 2019

Google and YouTube removed 300 Trump campaign ads

Google logos are seen in this photo illustration together with images of President Trump in 2018. Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Google and YouTube have removed 300 Trump campaign ads, mostly over last summer, for violating the services' policies, "60 Minutes" reported Sunday evening.

Details: "60 Minutes" reviewed the companies' transparency reports detailing incidents in which ads have been taken down, but found that the records offered no explanations for the removals, and no record of the original content of the ads.

  • "We found very little transparency in the transparency report," the "60 Minutes" report said.

Context: YouTube has not removed a controversial campaign ad for President Trump that pushes misleading claims about Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's role in the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor while Biden was vice president.

  • YouTube president Susan Wojcicki told CBS that despite the ad's inaccuracies, it did not violate the platform's policies.

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Google changes to political ad policy to limit targeting

Photo: NurPhoto / Contributor

Google announced Wednesday it is making changes to its political ads policy to restrict audience targeting for verified political advertisers globally. It's also expanding the scope of its U.S. political ads policy and clarifying its existing rules on misleading content and political ads.

Why it matters: The announcement comes a few weeks after Twitter announced it would be banning political ads. Facebook VP of Marketing Solutions Carolyn Everson told Axios Monday that the company is still considering changes to its ads policy and nothing, including changes to ads targeting, is off the table.

Go deeperArrowNov 20, 2019

Rivals distance themselves from Facebook on political ads

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Google, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat all made new announcements this week adjusting their political ad policies, placing themselves on a broad spectrum from anything goes to a near-total ban.

Why it matters: Many social media companies are using the ongoing political ad debate to distance themselves from Facebook, which has received the most criticism for its policies. Facebook's rules are the least restrictive amongst the group, because the tech giant believes that the government should regulate political ads, not private companies.

Go deeperArrowNov 21, 2019

Political ads are tricky to define in digital era

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Political ads have become a flashpoint ahead of the 2020 election, in part because new technologies make it nearly impossible to apply a universal definition of them to all advertising channels.

Why it matters: Without a commonly accepted definition of what a political ad is, efforts to regulate them have been challenging. Experts worry that without smart regulation of political ads, free speech — a tenet of democracy — can be gamed.

Go deeperArrowNov 23, 2019