Google urges FEC to adopt more specific rules for political ads
Google, Facebook and Twitter have all found evidence of Russian influence for last year’s US presidential election. Google, however, is seeking to separate itself a bit from it’s social-media peers in a new document filed with the US Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Thursday, according to a report by Recode.
The Google filing apparently urges US election regulators to create more specific rules for foreign-funded online political ads, including guidelines for ads about issues as well as those about candidates. In addition, the company says that it is different than Facebook or Twitter in that it allows political ads on Adsense websites, in search and on YouTube, so needs different rules for publishing.
According to Recode, Google things that the “majority of advertisers…self-impose some sort of disclaimer” when placing ads, though the company is also considering requiring all election-related ads to use a specific icon to explain to viewers why they’re seeing the ad. Google further said that it needed to “modernize its disclaimer rule so that political committees and other organizations have clear notice regarding the disclaimers they are required to include with their internet communications,” according to the report.
While this all sounds like a great first step, there’s more work to be done to ensure that future elections are not tampered with in this way. As Recode notes, it wasn’t just ads that were placed, but organic content shared and published by fake Russian accounts.