This Is How Google Plans to Bring More Transparency to Political Ads

May 4, 2018, 6:02 PM UTC

Google is joining the list of companies pledging to bring more transparency to online political ads.

The tech giant will now require that customers who buy political ads that appear to U.S users provide a government issued ID and “other key information” to confirm that they are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, Google said on Friday.

This summer, the company also plans to release a Transparency Report that will show who buys election ads on its service and how much they paid. Additionally, it expects to introduce a searchable election ad database with similar information.

The increased disclosures come after U.S. intelligence agencies said Russia-related entities had tried to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. In response, Twitter has banned ads from news channel Russia Today and Russian news site Sputnik.

Google first pledged to make changes to its political ad-buying policies late last year. Facebook announced similar changes in October that would include disclosing in ads who paid for them. Facebook also said users would be able to go to a page and click “View Ads” to see all ads the page is running on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, even if those ads weren’t specifically targeted at them.

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