Google to lift political ad ban this week

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Google will lift its ban on political ads on Wednesday, ending a self-imposed prohibition that had been active since the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Google announced the decision in an email to political clients Monday morning. The tech giant had also banned political ads on its platforms, including YouTube and Google search pages, after the 2020 election as part of a broader effort to clamp down on political misinformation. Google will now return ads from campaigns and ads on political topics to those sites, which have seen nearly $750 million in advertising since the spring of 2018, according to Google’s ad disclosure portal.

Facebook — which temporarily and narrowly lifted its own political ad ban ahead of the Georgia Senate runoffs in January before reimposing it once again — has not yet announced when (or if) it will lift its own ban on political ads.

Google and Facebook were collectively responsible for billions of dollars worth of digital political advertising during the last election cycle. Their bans have scrambled online fundraising efforts so far this year, and they have cut off a key communication tool between campaigns and voters ahead of state elections in Virginia and New Jersey this year, as well as countless municipal races around the country.

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