Google will end its most recent ban on election-related ads on February 24th. In an email obtained by Axios, the company told advertisers it will start accepting all political ads on Wednesday, including those that reference specific elected officials, candidates, political parties or ballot measures.
Citing its sensitive events policy, Google temporarily blocked such ads after polls closed at the end of the presidential election in November. It lifted the ban on December 10th only to reinstate it a month later on January 14th following the US Capitol attack on January 6th. The company enacted the policy to slow the spread of misinformation. “We regularly pause ads over unpredictable, ‘sensitive’ events when ads can be used to exploit the event or amplify misleading information,” a spokesperson for the company told Engadget at the time. The company told CNBC it will “continue to rigorously enforce our ads policies, which strictly prohibit demonstrably false information that could significantly undermine trust in elections or the democratic process.”
Like Google, Facebook banned political ads from its platform ahead of the election. It extended that prohibition indefinitely after former President Donald Trump showed no signs he would concede. Facebook’s ban remains in place for the time being.