Alphabet (GOOGL) , parent of search-engine giant Google, reportedly is considering changing its political advertising policy ahead of the upcoming 2020 U.S. presidential elections, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The discussions come roughly a week after Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR) publicly diverged on how to handle those ads amid the spread of misinformation. They also come amid growing discourse among the public and lawmakers over how technology companies are handling misleading information being run as advertising on their respective social media platforms.
The Journal said that Google has been holding internal meetings about changing its political ad policy and is expected to share more information with employees this week, though it was not immediately clear what the changes will be. It was also unclear when Google might implement any new policy.
All of Google's advertising policies are uniform across search and YouTube, and any ad policy change would be reflected across all of its platforms, a Google spokesperson told the Journal.
Followings Facebook's quarterly earnings last week, CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that it will likely be a tough year ahead for Facebook as election season kicks off in earnest.
"Over the next year of campaigns, we're going to be at the center of the debate any time there is content or policy on any of our services that people believe could advantage or disadvantage their side. This may lead to more investigations, and the candidates are going to criticize us. I expect that this is going to be a very tough year," Zuckerberg said.
"The government will decide [on political ads], not Facebook," TheStreet's Jim Cramer told Katherine Ross following the company's earnings last week. Catch his full take here.