Radio executives hoping to see a windfall from Twitter’s decision to ban political advertising now have even more reason for optimism.
On Wednesday, Google became the latest Silicon Valley titan to announce restrictions of its own, saying it will no longer allow highly targeted political ads on its platform. For radio, the news could mean an even larger slice of what’s expected to be a $6 billion 2020 election pie.
The policy change will take effect Jan. 6, 2020, Google said in a blog post.
Twitter said in late October that it would ban all political advertising. Facebook, which last month announced it would no longer fact-check political ads, says it’s still exploring ways to refine its approach to the space.
The Wall Street Journal reports the new Google policy means political advertisements can only target users based on age, gender and location at the postal-code level. Political marketers can still display ads based on the content of the page a user is viewing, the newspaper adds.
In addition, advertisers will be prohibited from targeting political ads based on interests gleaned from browsing or search history.
So-called “microtargeting” has drawn criticism for allowing campaigns to single out groups susceptible to misinformation—while keeping the dubious content beyond the sight of most Americans. Federal Election Commission Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub has called for a ban on the practice.
Google also said—effectively—that it will be fact-checking political ads and removing those telling untruths, stating politicians won’t be allowed to make fake claims on its platforms. “We expect that the number of political ads on which we take action will be very limited—but we will continue to do so for clear violations,” the company’s post said.
“Regardless of the cost or impact to spending on our platforms,” Google says, “we believe these changes will help promote confidence in digital political advertising and trust in electoral processes worldwide.”