Google bans political ads ahead of Biden inauguration

Google is banning all political ads, including those mentioning impeachment or the inauguration

Google has banned political ads after last week's Capitol riot and ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration.

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"Given the events of the past week, we will expand our Sensitive Event policy enforcement to temporarily pause all political ads in addition to any ads referencing impeachment, the inauguration, or protests at the U.S. Capitol," Google spokesperson Charlotette Smith told FOX Business.

Smith added that Google regularly pauses ads "over unpredictable, 'sensitive' events when ads can be used to exploit the event or amplify misleading information."

The tech giant similarly banned political ads after the 2020 U.S. presidential election until Dec. 10.

This March 19, 2018 file photo shows a Google app in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

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Google has additional policies that block content inciting violence or promoting hate, and the company will be "extremely vigilant about enforcing on any ads that cross this line," Smith said.

Google's "sensitive events" policy prohibits ads that could "potentially profit from or exploit a sensitive event with significant social, cultural or political impact" and has designated the weeks between the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and Biden's inauguration as a "limited Sensitive Event," according to a letter from Google to advertisers on the platform.

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"Effective Thursday, [Jan.] 14, we will be expanding that designation to include all political ads," Google said in the letter. "While this policy is in place, advertisers will not be able to run ads referencing candidates, the election, its outcome, the upcoming presidential inauguration, the ongoing presidential impeachment."

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Google is planning to keep the policy in place until Jan. 21, the day after Biden's inauguration.