2019 General Elections: Google Will Reveal Who Pays For Poll Ads, Will Stop Fake News

Google wants to induce more transparency and more genuine news during the elections in India.

General Elections 2019: Google will stop fake news, reveal who pays for poll ads
General Elections 2019: Google will stop fake news, reveal who pays for poll ads

Next year, around April or May, India will vote to elect the 17th Lok Sabha of Independent India. Political parties including BJP, Congress and others have already started making campaign plans and strategies to win over Indian citizens.

Digital advertising constitutes one of the most important aspects of poll campaigns, and within this domain, Google and Facebook are no doubt #1 and #2 platforms where political parties will focus on.

Last year, Indian advertisers spent close to Rs 9000 crore on running Google Ads, and there are 46 crore Internet users in India, out which, almost 90% use Google services in one way or the other.

This clearly means that political parties will be spending heavily on running Google ads – both search and display to create awareness about their ideologies and policies, and to entice the voter.

Google understands this, and this is the reason they have decided to act responsibly, transparently when it comes to Google Ads for political purpose.

Google Will Reveal Who Is Paying For Poll Ads

In politics, more than often, the circulation of money is in black, as crores of rupees are spent without any trail.

Now, Google wants to stop this, atleast for their own ads.

In a remarkable decision, Google has announced that during the elections and after that, Google will reveal which entity/advertiser paid how much for their ads.

This has never happened before in India, and it is inspired by a similar step taken by Google in the US mid-terms elections.

Google India’s Director of Trust and Safety, Sunita Mohanty said, “In the US, during the mid-term elections, we ran weekly reports showing all the advertisements that ran on Google platform, who paid for them, which party did it cover. We plan that for India. There’s still time for India’s general elections, but we are gearing up for it and we have put in place a global framework for it,”

This will create a transparent and open environment wherein the voters can actually find out everything about polling expenses by parties.

Fake News Will Be Strictly Governed

Besides, Google will create frameworks and mechanisms to stop the circulation of fake news, which becomes a major nuisance during elections. People forward such fake news without verifying, and a false, lie becomes the truth.

Exact details as to how this will happen, or which steps will be taken to control fake news by Google hasn’t been explained.

Mohanty also said that with greater personalization options available, now users can decide which ads they want to see, and which they don’t.

She said, “We have introduced a concept — there is advertisement personalisation, Google uses your data to personalise advertisements — but you can go and remove categories for which you do not want advertisements. You can remove apparel, ticketing, tech, etc. As a user, I may be searching about a particular political party or its leaders, which may show I am affiliated to a particular party, but my political affiliation is never used for personalisation. Similarly, if I am searching about treatments for HIV or cancer, even those are not used to personalise advertisements,”

Do you think that Google’s efforts to bring in transparency in 2019 General Elections in India will work? Do let us know by commenting right here!

Related: Facebook Won’t Be Misused During Indian Elections; New Measures To Prevent Data Breach!

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