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Google Bans Hacked Political Content Ahead of the US Elections, Implements New Google Ads Policy


The presidential elections in the US are near. Keeping this in mind, Google has announced a new policy that will ban ads that advertise hacked political content or propaganda. This new policy will come into effect from 1 September 2020, as per the news available on Google's support page. After the new rule is implemented, the third party players won't be able to purchase ad-space on Google ads, directly or indirectly linked to the hacked content of any political party.

However, ads related to news articles or other pages that contain hacked political material may be allowed. But the news article and the page shouldn't be linked to the political content in any way, says the policy. The violators of this new Google Ads policy (Ad Buyers) will first receive a warning to remove the ad from their account or face account suspension after seven days.


The policy is made observing the 2016 US Elections. 

The new Google Ads policy is made to avoid the 2016 US presidential elections scenario. As we all know, during the 2016 election campaigns in the US, the Russian hackers were able to break into the servers of various political factions associated with the Democratic Party. The breach resulted in data leaks of the Democratic party on WikiLeaks and DC leaks. The attack resulted in biased media coverage and online ads on various social media and platforms that discussed the hacked political content. Google will become the first company to make such a move when the policy is enacted on 1 September.

Twitter, in a similar incident, banned the distribution of hacked content on its platform in 2018 before the US midterm elections. It included not only political content but every other hacked material. It resulted in an unofficial ban of the ads on Twitter, as they need tweets to advertise. According to Google's policy, the following is not allowed: "Ads that directly facilitate or advertise access to hacked material related to political entities within the scope of Google's elections ads policies. This applies to all protected material obtained through the unauthorized intrusion or access of a computer, computer network, or personal electronic device, even if distributed by a third party."

Campaign Manager (CM) - Intelligent IT based Approach a must for all Political Parties

In 2016 assembly elections we were working for the IT wing of a leading political party.

Even though the party had money, since most of the senior politicians, who were holding the purse strings, did not comprehend technology money was not forthcoming. They were sitting on the budget demands and the IT wing was getting desperate with hardly a month to go into polling.

After a small trickle of funds was released a team was formed within a few days and we got cracking. What we realized was there were so many tasks to be managed on many fronts.

Apart from managing posts on social media, and analyzing the engagement there were demands cropping up in a dynamic manner – from all over the state. The demand could be from a district secretary of the party, a senior functionary going for a TV debate, a party speaker who was to address a public meeting in a sensitive constituency, damage control of fake news from opposition, managing the logistics of flow of promotional material, providing key speech points for the party leader on whirlwind tour in the final run-up.

The party heads need a reliable and trackable way of allocating and monitoring the work. They also need a way to get on ground data from party cadres and supporters, press, private sources.

This is where the Campaign Manager comes in. It allows communication both way.


     Key Benefits for political party leadership –
  • Delegates different tasks to party hierarchy with delivery deadlines
  • Tracks progress and provides auto alerts to leader on tasks’ status
  • Prioritizes Constituency Tasks in a criticality matrix, for better focus
  • Provides Simple Dashboard to manage election campaign, by any parameter – Issue/Delegate/Constituency/Criticality
  • Media Monitor - Monitor all news media for specific constituencies(identify issues for political party).
 Key Benefits for political workers –
  • Provide easy and achievable tasks and objectives.
  • The party workers who work hard automatically get the visibility of the top leadership. Which in turn will increase their future prospects within the party.  
  • Report ward level/constituency level and district level issues and allow direct access to party leaders. 
  • What does the party leadership want political workers to speak at Ward level/Constituency Level on daily basis(SPIN Module).
Managing ad campaigns on social media should also be done intelligently. It is important the Ad campaigns are run in coordination with information available from campaign manager.

That was the time AVS Labs visualized a campaign management tool which can enable the party leadership to manage the various activities of the campaign chaos.

S Sreeram
Chairman
AVS Labs Pte Ltd
chairman{at}avslabs.co