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Google will temporarily ban election ads after polls close

The company hopes 'to limit the potential for ads to increase confusion post-election.'
Kris Holt, @krisholt
October 27, 2020
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A ballot drop box is stationed outside Haverhill City Hall during early voting, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, in Haverhill, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
ASSOCIATED PRESS

The presidential election is just a week away and the outcome may not be clear for a while amid an enormous surge in mail-in voting. To help reduce confusion and the spread of misinformation about the results, Google will temporarily ban all election-related ads as soon as the polls close. Facebook announced a similar measure earlier this month.

Google will block all ads that reference the election, candidates or the results. Although it didn't say how long the ban will last, the Washington Post reported it would last at least a week. Google is enforcing the measure under its Sensitive Events policy "to limit the potential for ads to increase confusion post-election.”

The company laid out some of its other election-related efforts in a blog post. It noted, for instance, that it worked with campaigns to help protect them from cyberattacks.

Meanwhile, you can use Search, Maps or Google Assistant to find out where to vote, including early polling locations and ballot drop boxes. Next Tuesday, you'll be able to view real-time info on federal and state-level elections in Search, and you can find out the latest results through Assistant as well. On top of that, YouTube will host live streams of election night coverage from news networks.

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