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Google to halt election ads ahead of May presidential vote


Google to halt election ads ahead of May presidential vote

Photo: The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images

Google is due to halt displaying political advertisements in the Philippines ahead of that country’s elections on May 9.

The announcement, which came in December 2021, was noted by the Philippine government to be in line with the election commission’s rules on political advertisements during the campaign period. The move will take effect on February 8 and will continue until May 9, when Filipinos will head to the polls. Google says the move is part of an effort to crack down on misinformation, informed by the precedent of similar moves made during the 2020 US elections in response to the massive disinformation campaigns mounted during the 2016 and 2020 elections.

With the ability of parties to spread disinformation on internet platforms curtailed, expect that this election will have to be fought on the issues, such as corruption scandals and the pandemic. With President Duterte himself out of the running with no appointed successor as yet, expect the voting public to be closely split between Duterte supporters, those of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos (son of the late dictator) and groups opposing both major leaders for the presidential race, in the wake of massive ad campaign spending by all major candidates.

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