Google won’t run political ads during Philippine campaign season

Xave Gregorio – Philstar.com

December 1, 2021 | 12:43pm

MANILA, Philippines — Google announced Wednesday that it will not accept political advertisements in the Philippines during the campaign and silence periods for the 2022 elections.

This means that the tech giant will not run advertisements for or against any political party or candidate in the Philippines from Feb. 8, 2022, the start of the campaign season, until Election Day on May 9, 2022.

The policy will apply to election ads bought through Google Ads, Display and Video 360 and shopping platforms that advertisers intend to place on Google, YouTube and partner properties.

“Google is focusing its efforts and resources on upcoming election-related initiatives which aim to help people access useful and accurate information via product features and media literacy programs, encourage participation in the voting process, and help protect the integrity of the elections,” it said in a release.

In the United States, Google also paused election-related ads after polls closed on Nov. 3, 2020 in anticipation of delayed election results and lifted it on December 9. It again paused political ads following the January 6 Capitol riot and only lifted it on February 22.

Other tech giants have instituted similar bans on political advertising, with Facebook having taken similar steps against ads that prematurely proclaim election victory and Twitter having totally rejected the idea of running political ads on its platform over a belief that “political message reach should be earned, not bought.”

It bears noting, however, that since Google’s election ad ban is only in effect in time for the campaign and silence periods, political advertisements can still run prior to these times.

Case in point, advertisements of aspirants for various elective posts, including the presidency, are currently running on Google’s platforms.

Big tech has been under fire for their policies which have supposedly allowed misinformation and disinformation to fester on their platforms.