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By Patience Haggin
Alphabet Inc.'s Google said Wednesday it plans to stop allowing highly targeted political ads on its platform, a move that comes as tech giants are drawing scrutiny for their rules on political advertising.
Google will roll out the ban within a week in the U.K., in advance of a Dec. 12 general election. The ban will take effect in the European Union by the end of the year and in the rest of the world on Jan. 6, the company said in a blog post.
Under the new policy, political ads can only be targeted based on users' age, gender and location at the postal code-level. Political advertisers will still be allowed to use contextual targeting, such as serving ads to users reading about a particular topic.
The company imposed certain regulations on political advertising for U.S. federal races last year. It will expand those existing regulations to cover U.S. state-level candidates and officeholders, ballot measures and ads that mention federal or state political parties.
The Google policy changes follow calls for regulation of political advertising online, including from Federal Election Commission Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub.
The new targeting policy will apply to ads on Google Search, YouTube and ads purchased on sites across the web through Google's ad-buying software.
(More to come.)
Write to Patience Haggin at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 20, 2019 18:55 ET (23:55 GMT)
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