SAN FRANCISCO – Google said Tuesday it will ban all ads related to the U.S. election after polls close Nov. 3, adding it expects the ban to last at least a week.
The company cited its “sensitive events” policy, which seeks to stop brands from profiting off fast-moving, critical events. Election results will probably take longer to confirm this year as more people vote by mail, and Google said in a blog post Tuesday that the ban is necessary “to limit the potential for ads to increase confusion post-election.”
The ban will cover any ad that mentions a candidate, a political party, or an election, among other election-related content. Google used to same policy to halt political ads when protests broke out following the election in Belarus in August.
Google, which owns YouTube, is one of several social media companies outlining plans to try to slow the spread of misinformation on their sites in the lead-up to the election.
The move follows similar ones by other tech giants. Facebook will also ban political ads after polls close, as well as disallowing new ads the week before the election. Twitter announced a broad ban of political ads about candidates last year.
The moves are in addition to other measures to prevent the spread of misinformation after voting is finished, in anticipation that results may not be immediate and some candidates could declare early victory.
In a letter to advertisers, Google said it would “carefully examine a number of factors before deciding to lift this policy for advertisers,” but did not give an exact timeline of how long the ban would last.
Google used the same sensitive events policy this spring in the effort stop any coronavirus-related ads as the disease began to spread in the U.S. The company slowly began lifting that ban in April.
Axios previously reported on Google’s plans.