UPDATED 11:39 AM PT — Wednesday, November 27, 2019
A recent decision by Google marks a rare consensus between both sides of the isle. This month the tech giant announced it will no longer allow advertisers to use voter information to target political ads. Google and Facebook currently use a system to target consumers through their political affiliation.
“Both Google and Facebook have a product, they’re named differently, but basically it allows a politician to upload a bunch of email addresses or phone numbers and then target those people on the surface,” explained Bloomberg’s Kurt Wagner.
However, they are now stopping this practice and are limiting the number of factors political advertisers can use to age, gender and zip code. This comes after the tech giants received backlash over claims the platforms intervene with political discourse.
Google’s critics and competitors have also blasted the company for allowing politicians to lie in ads. They say that by allowing political campaigns to avoid accountability, the general public becomes susceptible to misinformation.
The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC) are now backing this notion. On Tuesday, the campaign said Google’s changes are “a blatant attempt to suppress voter information, knowledge and engagement in the 2020 election.” Officials argue these actions will lead directly to suppressing voter turnout.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is taking a similar stance. Last week, it released a statement calling Google’s new policy a “cop out.” According to the DNC, the move “fails to combat disinformation” and “harms voters ability to participate in our democracy.”
Twitter is also following Google’s lead. It will no longer host advertisements from politicians nor campaigns at all as it doesn’t want to influence political discourse and allow individuals to “pay for reach.” However, politicians are remaining focused on Google and its widespread impact on voters and voter turnout. Google’s changes will go into effect globally at the beginning of next year.
— ConsumerAffairs (@ConsumerAffairs) November 19, 2019