On Monday, Alphabet Inc’s Google removed search ads that charged users searching for voting information large fees for voter registration or harvested their personal data.
According to close sources of the tech giant, its misrepresentation policy barred such ads, which were found by the nonprofit watchdog Tech Transparency Project when searching for terms such as “register to vote,” “vote by mail,” and “where is my polling place.”
On Monday, in a report, Tech Transparency Project said that almost a third of the more than 600 ads generated by its Google searches took users to sites that try to charge large fees for voter registration services, extract personal data for marketing purposes, install deceptive browser extensions, or serve other misleading ads.
“We have strict policies in place to protect users from false information about voting procedures, and when we find ads that violate our policies and present harm to users, we remove them and block advertisers from running similar ads in the future,” the spokeswoman said.
“Some people may find it difficult to distinguish Google ads from other kinds of content because as of January, search ads on Google feature the same typeface and color scheme as organic search results,” the TTP report said.
Few weeks ago, the EU pressurized Facebook, Google and Twitter to provide monthly reports on their fight against misinformation.
“It really showed that disinformation does not only harm the health of our democracies, it also harms the health of our citizens. It can negatively impact the economy and undermine the response of the public authorities and therefore weaken the health measures,” EU warned.