Google halts political ads until after Biden inauguration

6 days ago 15
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Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Google began Thursday to suspend political ads until after President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.

Google told its advertising partners in an email the halt would take effect Thursday after "unprecedented events of the past week," Axios first reported Wednesday. President Donald Trump became the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice, when the House charged him with inciting insurrection after riots at the U.S. Capitol.

The mob of Trump supporters that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 delayed the Electoral College vote count and left five people dead, including a Capitol police officer. Four Democratic lawmakers have since tested COVID-19 positive, along with two spouses of lawmakers.

Banned ads during the suspension, include any "referencing candidates, the election, its outcome, the upcoming presidential inauguration, the ongoing presidential impeachment process, violence at the U.S. Capitol, or future planned protests on these topics," according to the email obtained by Axios.

"We regularly pause ads over unpredictable, 'sensitive' events when ads can be used to exploit the event or amplify the event or amplify misleading information," Google said in a statement. "Beyond this, we have long-standing policies blocking content that incites violence or promotes hate and we will be extremely vigilant about enforcing on any ads that cross this line."

The announcement follows Google's YouTube announcing Wednesday suspension of Trump's YouTube account "in light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence," following a review that found it violated its policies.

Google had previously lifted a ban on post-election ads following the presidential election to slow the spread of misinformation about the election on Dec. 9.

On Wednesday, Snapchat said it would permanently ban Trump's account. Twitter permanently suspended Trump's personal account Friday "due to the risk of further incitement of violence," after the Capitol insurrection. Facebook and and Instagram also have banned Trump indefinitely.

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