Though Gomez did not mention any specific ads, the Washington Post reported in August that Google approved, and did not remove, an ad from an organization with a connection to a conservative non-profit that contained misleading information that cast doubt on the security of mail-in voting; President Trump has repeatedly claimed without evidence that mail-in voting is subject to potential fraud.
According to the Post, the misleading ads appeared on sites tied to mail-in voting in key swing states including Florida, Michigan and Texas.
"Our policy is to remove ads from articles promoting demonstrably false claims that could significantly undermine participation or trust in the electoral process," Google spokesperson Christa Muldoon tells Billboard about content posted on independent sites/outlets, some of which monetize with Google but are not Google-owned or related sites. "When content violates our policies, we take the appropriate action. Additionally, we provide advertisers who are interested in going beyond our policies with robust controls to block their ads from appearing on specific publications or topics.”
In addition, she noted that Google's policies include a ban on content that "makes claims that are demonstrably false and could significantly undermine participation or trust in an electoral or democratic process," including "false claims about the effectiveness of different types of voting."
Earlier this week, Google announced that it will partner with the Associated Press to "deliver authoritative information on election results" on Google Search and Assistant and that it will ban political ads on its platforms after the polls close on election day (Nov. 3) in light of the possibility of delayed election results due to a flood of mail-in and absentee voting during the pandemic, according to Techcrunch.
See Gomez's Story below.