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Nov. 6, 2019, 10:28 p.m. EST

Google said to be rethinking how it handles political ads

Changes may involve ad targeting, would affect both search and YouTube

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By Emily Glazer


Bloomberg News
A cyclist rides past Google Inc. offices in Mountain View, Calif.

Google is in discussions about changing its political ad policy, according to people familiar with the matter, about a week after Facebook Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite FB +0.33%   and Twitter Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203180645/composite TWTR +0.13%   publicly diverged on how to handle those ads amid the spread of misinformation.

Alphabet Inc.’s /zigman2/quotes/202490156/composite GOOGL +0.61%   /zigman2/quotes/205453964/composite GOOG +0.57%   Google has been holding internal meetings about changing its political ad policy and is expected to share more information with employees this week, the people said, though it is unclear what the changes will be.

Some Google employees are speculating the changes could be related to what type of audience targeting the company allows ad buyers to place. It’s unclear when Google would implement any new policy.

All of Google’s advertising policies are uniform across search and YouTube, and any ad policy change would be reflected across all of its platforms, a Google spokesperson said.

Google has historically accepted political ads, and last month ran a controversial ad by the Trump campaign that included an unsubstantiated claim about former Vice President Joe Biden’s role in the ouster of a Ukrainian prosecutor.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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/zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 199.36
+0.65 +0.33%
Volume: 9.76M
Dec. 5, 2019 4:15p
P/E Ratio
31.84
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$568.67 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.57M
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/zigman2/quotes/203180645/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 30.04
+0.04 +0.13%
Volume: 11.07M
Dec. 5, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
14.68
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$23.32 billion
Rev. per Employee
$776,112
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/zigman2/quotes/202490156/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 1,326.96
+8.02 +0.61%
Volume: 1.22M
Dec. 5, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
28.47
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$853.47 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.39M
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/zigman2/quotes/205453964/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 1,328.13
+7.59 +0.57%
Volume: 1.21M
Dec. 5, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
28.50
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$854.23 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.39M
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