For the second time in the space of a few months, Google is suspending political advertising. As of January 14th, the company expanding enforcement of its its sensitive event policy. It’s also putting a hold on ads that reference impeachment, President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration and "violence at the US Capitol" in the wake of last week's riots there, as Axios first reported.
"We regularly pause ads over unpredictable, 'sensitive' events when ads can be used to exploit the event or amplify misleading information," a Google spokesperson told Engadget in a statement. "Beyond this, we have long-standing policies blocking content that incites violence or promotes hate and we will be extremely vigilant about enforcing on any ads that cross this line.”
Google previously blocked political ads after the polls closed in November's presidential election and it didn’t lift the ban until December 10th. It's unclear how long the current suspension will last — Google plans to keep it in place for at least a week and it said that it would continue to monitor the situation.
The company froze political contributions from its NetPAC political action committee following the insurrection. Facebook, Microsoft, Disney, Verizon (Engadget's parent company) and several other major companies have also suspended or restricted their contributions.