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Google and other web platforms are trying to avoid a repeat of 2016's online foreign election meddling campaign. Photo: Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images

People buying Google ads related to candidates in U.S. federal elections will have to prove they are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents beginning July 10, the company says.

Why it matters: Google’s new policies around verifying election advertisers in the U.S., announced Friday morning, come as it and other web companies race to forestall possible foreign meddling in the midterm elections.

The gritty details: Under Google’s new rules, people or groups who want to advertise in elections will have to go through a process that includes producing a “government-issued ID” as well as other information, like a Federal Election Commission identification number and an IRS Employer Identification Number. Google says it aims to confirm that buyers are who they say they are and can legally participate in American elections.

  • Advertisers can go through the verification process starting at the end of May, and Google will start enforcing the new rules on July 10, the company said.
  • The new requirements will apply to ads featuring candidates for federal office or current officeholders in the United States.
  • Google will also start requiring these ads to carry a disclosure that says who paid for them.

Yes, but: The new policy will not cover ads that relate to politically contentious issues rather than a candidate, which was the case for many of the online ads placed by Russian operatives trying to interfere in the 2016 election. The company says it is looking at following Facebook in tightening restrictions on those ads as well.

What they’re saying: Google has promised to create a searchable database of election ads that have run on Google’s products and to produce a report detailing who is buying political ads.

  • “We are continuing that work [broadly related to elections] through our efforts to increase election advertising transparency, to improve online security for campaigns and candidates, and to help combat misinformation,” said Google general counsel Kent Walker, who testified before Congress about the Russian interference campaign last year, in a blog post. “Stay tuned for more announcements in the coming months.”

Go deeper

4 hours ago - World

Over 170 Palestinians injured in clashes with Israeli police in Jerusalem

An injured man is carried away as Israeli security forces clash with Palestinian protesters at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem. Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images

At least 178 Palestinians have been injured in clashes with Israeli police in Jerusalem, Reuters reported late Friday.

The big picture: The clashes come amid growing anger over the threatened eviction of Palestinians from their homes on land claimed by Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem. Tensions have also escalated in the occupied West Bank in recent weeks.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases hit a seven-month low — Majority back vaccine proof requirements for travel, schools and work — The race to avoid a possible "monster" COVID variant.
  2. Politics: Oklahoma secures $2.6 million refund for hydroxychloroquine purchase — Why Biden's latest vaccine goal is his hardest yet.
  3. Vaccines: Pfizer begins application for full FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccine — Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants.
  4. Economy: U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations — Americans' return to the skies could benefit smaller airlines.
  5. World: WHO authorizes China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use — Mixed response in Europe to Biden's vaccine patents bombshell.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Ohio GOP censures Rep. Anthony Gonzalez over Trump impeachment vote

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Ohio Republican Party on Friday censured Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) and called for him to resign for voting to impeach former President Trump in January, Reuters reports.

The big picture: Gonzalez is the latest Republican lawmaker to be punished for voting to impeach the former president on a charge of inciting the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection.