July 31 — Google said Friday it will be more aggressive in countering hacked material and misinformation campaigns than they were in 2016, saying it will penalize websites and advertisers who take part in such efforts.
The changes will go into effect Sept. 1 and will include all advertising. The move would target such information as the Democratic National Committee leaked emails published by WikiLeaks in the run-up to the last presidential season that bedeviled Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign.
“Today we are expanding our policies to prevent the coordinated spread of disinformation from domestic actors who conceal their identity and illegally obtained materials via ads,” Google representative Charlotte Smith said. “We believe these new measures strike the right balance in helping preserve trust in our elections while allowing for robust dialogue and public discourse about current events.”
Google’s first change will prevent advertisers from concealing their identities by coordinating with other sites or accounts to misrepresent themselves and promote content via ads relating to politics, social issues or matters of public concern.
The Internet giant’s second change will sanction advertisers that use illegally obtained information as clickbait or use such information in an ad.
In this case, “illegally obtained” means information gained through the direct result of a hack, or unauthorized access to confidential digital material, like WikiLeaks. Google, though, will not ban ads that discuss hacked materials.
The new rules will also cover ads on YouTube, which is owned by Google.