Starting Sept. 1, Google will crack down on misinformation, a lack of transparency and the ability to amplify or circulate politically influential content.
Google is making two changes in its advertising policy as the U.S. moves into the fall election season ahead of the presidential contest in November, in an attempt to thwart disinformation campaigns.
For one, Google is updating its Google Ads Misrepresentation Policy to prevent coordinated activity around politics, social issues or “matters of public concern,” by requiring advertisers to provide transparency about who they are. As of Sept. 1, this will mean big penalties for “concealing or misrepresenting your identity or other material details about yourself,” the internet giant said in a recent post, adding that violations will be considered “egregious.”
“I speculate that Google is trying to prevent the use of political materials obtained by hacking with a strong takedown policy so that episodes such as the DNC hack and subsequent reporting are treated in a more fair and legitimate manner,” Fausto Oliveira, principal security architect at Acceptto, told Threatpost. “That, combined with a policy that attempts to dissuade third parties from misrepresenting their identity, is in my opinion a pre-emptive move ahead of the U.S. presidential elections. I believe that other media organizations should adopt the same standard, not only for the U.S. elections, so that they can help avoid the spread of misinformation, stolen information, fake news and trolling, with strong takedown policies to ensure that information is factual, legitimate and protected from internet trolls.”
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