Google to ban political advertising ahead of Philippines election

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The Google LLC logo is seen at the Google Store Chelsea in Manhattan, New York, United States on November 17, 2021. REUTERS / Andrew Kelly / File Photo

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MANILA, Dec. 1 (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O) said on Wednesday it would ban political advertising on its platform ahead of the Philippine elections next May to choose a successor to President Rodrigo Duterte.

The move comes as social media platforms come under pressure on their handling of political advertising in the 2020 US presidential election.

Social media platforms have become political battlegrounds in the Southeast Asian nation, with studies showing Filipinos topping the world rankings for time spent on social media.

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Election ads that promote or oppose any political party or the candidacy of any person or party for public office would not be allowed to run between February 8 and May 9, 2022, Google said in an update. day of its political content policy.

The dates cover the campaign period in the Philippines until election day on May 9.

Google said notifications will be sent to affected advertisers regarding the policy update.

Google has already banned political advertising on its platform, including in the Canadian federal election in 2019 and ahead of the Singapore election in 2020.

Social media platforms like Facebook have helped bolster Duterte’s base of support, with analysts seeing them as pivotal in his 2016 election victory and the rout of his allies in midterm polls last year. .

The Philippines will choose a successor to Duterte, who, under the constitution, is not allowed to run for another term, but will run for a senatorial seat.

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Report by Karen Lema in the Manila and Bengaluru newsroom Editing by Ed Davies

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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