Google to ban political ads in Canada ahead of national election

Google Canada won't be running political ads in the face of tough regulation

In the era of fake news and election meddling, Google Canada is set to ban political ads on its site in the lead up to the country's federal election.

The ban comes after the Canadian Senate in December passed Bill C-76, a measure that requires platforms to keep a registry of all political ads shown to consumers.

Google Canada’s head of public policy, Colin McKay, shared in a statement that Google will not accept ads regulated by the bill "for the duration of the 2019 federal election campaign."

“We’re focusing our efforts on supporting Canadian news literacy programs and connecting people to useful and relevant election-related information," McKay said.

Though political ads will still be able to run on other Google services, namely YouTube, McKay called it a "painful" decision for the company.

"We’ve come to the decision that the best way for Google to comply with the Elections Act in the 2019 election cycle is actually to stop accepting elections ads as defined in the legislation," McKay said. The Globe and Mail first reported this news.

It's easier for Google to ban political ads because of the automated nature of its AdEx platform, which makes it difficult for publishers to know what ads are being displayed, especially with multiple campaigns running at once.

Though political advertisers can still find refuge on YouTube, the video platform is facing a safety crisis of its own. It recently disabled comments on videos of minors after a ring of pedophiles was discovered communicating in comment sections.

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