Google said Monday that the platform would be lifting its ban on political ads starting Wednesday, reversing the measure imposed following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last month.
“Starting on Wednesday, we will be lifting our Sensitive Events policy to again allow advertisers to run political ads,” a Google spokesperson said in an email to FOX Business. “We will continue to rigorously enforce our ads policies, which strictly prohibit demonstrably false information that could significantly undermine trust in elections or the democratic process.”
The limited version of the sensitive events policy was imposed on Jan. 13, a week after rioters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. It prevented advertisers from running political ads referencing candidates, the election, its outcome, the presidential inauguration, the impeachment process, violence at the Capitol or future planned protests on those topics, Axios reported, citing an email sent to Google’s advertising partners last month.
Google first informed its advertising partners that it was lifting the ban in another email sent out Monday.
Google similarly froze political ads ahead of the general election in November 2020 in an effort to curb misinformation. According to Google’s ad disclosure portal, ads on campaigns and political topics on its platforms, including YouTube and Google search pages, generated $750 million since spring of 2018.
Meanwhile, Facebook temporarily lifted its own ban on political ads ahead of the Georgia Senate runoffs in January before bringing back the freeze.
Both tech giants combined handled billions of dollars in political advertising during the last election cycle and bans on political ads have muddled fundraising efforts by stifling communication with voters. It namely affected state elections in Virginia and New Jersey this year, as well as municipal races around the nation, according to Politico.