Web giant Google has announced that it will be enacting new rules surrounding political advertisements in the United States, and will also be putting out a new transparency report aimed squarely at those advertisers. There will also be a searchable database that shows political ads on Google and information on who bought them. As an aside, Google also announced that it will be beefing up security measures for Google accounts that are political in nature, including adding in new features and protections on account types and applications used by politicians, campaign managers, and other parties involved in elections of all sorts. The goal is to keep misinformation and outside influence in elections away from Google's advertisements and services.
For starters, anybody purchasing a political ad on Google will have to present a form of government-issued ID or other valid proof of either US citizenship or permanent residence. Ads will also have to include a disclosure as to who is paying for the ad, just like on TV. The company's new transparency report is coming this summer, and will show what ads were sold and who bought them. On top of that, a searchable database of political ads on Google is being worked on right now, and it will allow users to find and view ads, as well as see who paid for the ads, among other key information. The new account protections and features for high-security and political Google users will start off with an update that allows users on Google's Advanced Protection Program to use Apple's native applications on iDevices with their Google accounts, provided that proper security procedures are otherwise followed.
This comes after the tech sphere, including Google, caught a good bit of the blame for the large foreign influence in the 2016 United States Presidential election. Fake news and misinformation ran wild, making it hard for candidates to get their messages out without being smeared in unfair and often untrue ways. Russian influence, meanwhile, was shown in many instances to be backing now-President Donald Trump. It's exactly this sort of phenomenon that Google no longer wants to be a part of, and hopefully these new measures will help in this regard.