Google told Alphabet Inc. on Monday that it had removed search ads that charged users who were looking for voting information a large fee for voter registration or collected their personal data.
A Google spokesperson told Reuters that the company’s misrepresentation policy prohibits these ads, which were found by non-profit monitoring project Tech Transparency when searching for terms such as “sign up to vote “,” vote by mail “and” where is my polling station “. “
Tech Transparency Project said in a report on Monday that nearly a third of the more than 600 ads generated by its Google searches have brought users to sites that are trying to charge high fees for voter registration services, extract personal data for marketing purposes, install deceptive browser extensions or serve other deceptive ads.
The report said the first ad in a Google search to “register to vote” directed users to a PrivacyWall.org site that charged $ 129 for “same-day processing” of voter registration. American voters do not need to pay to register to vote.
PrivacyWall did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
A Google spokesperson said the company still did not know how the ads had gone through its approval process, which uses a combination of automated and manual review.
“We have strict policies in place to protect users from false information about voting procedures, and when we find advertisements that violate our policies and harm users, we remove them and prevent advertisers from serving advertisements similar in the future, “said the spokesperson. .
“Some people may find it difficult to distinguish Google ads from other types of content because from January, Google search ads have the same type of face and color as organic search results,” the report said. TTP.
Social media companies and online platforms, including Facebook Inc and Twitter, are under pressure to curb disinformation on their sites in the run-up to the November presidential election.
(This story has not been edited by GalacticGaming staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)