Google Outlines Measures to Tackle Online Abuse Ahead of 2020 U.S. Election
The 2020 election season officially kicks off with the Iowa caucuses today, and Google is sharing more about what the company is doing to tackle abuse on its platforms.
Google's Trust and Safety teams span the globe to monitor and disrupt account hijackings, inauthentic activity, disinformation campaigns, coordinated attacks, and other forms of abuse on te company's platforms on a 24/7 basis.
Google has developed policies that prohibit deceptive practices and abuse such as voter suppression and misrepresentation in Google's products, including Google Ads, YouTube or Google Play. For example, Google Play has implemented new policies to mitigate misleading claims and promote transparency about the sources of government information including voting information communicated through apps. Google works together with Jigsaw to advance research on “deep fake” detection—and protect the accounts of users and campaigns that are targeted by hacking or phishing. Google says that every day, Gmail blocks more than 100 million phishing emails and Google Safe Browsing helps protect more than 4 billion devices against dangerous sites.
Google also works with other technology companies and government agencies, such as the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force, on referrals and leads.
As we approach November’s election, Google will continue to educate campaigns and elected officials on how they can effectively use Google and YouTube products to reach voters. Candidates can claim their knowledge panels so people have access to authoritative information right in Google Search. Google also works with them to optimize their presence on YouTube by helping them get verified and more effectively engage with voters through YouTube.
Additionally, Google created Protect Your Election, a suite of free tools to help protect high-risk users from the most pervasive digital attacks, like DDoS and phishing attacks (to which politicians, journalists, and campaigns are often most vulnerable). Google's Advanced Protection Program and Jigsaw’s Project Shield help combat the types of digital attacks that could threaten account and web-site security.
Google is supporting the new Election Security and Information Project, run out of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School. Last week, the trainers kicked off the first of many election security training sessions that will take place in every state across the US. This nonpartisan program is designed to help campaigns, academics, elected officials and NGOs prepare for election-related security challenges between now and November.
Google's systems are designed to elevate authoritative content when people seek information about topics such as elections or candidates. The company does this not only for users directly on its own platform, but also by supporting the civic technology ecosystem through products like the Google Civic Information API. These products allow third-party developers to create applications to help people find information, for instance, about where to vote.
Over the past few years, YouTube has invested in the teams and systems to raise up quality content, such as prioritizing authoritative voices in search results for news and topics prone to misinformation.
And for the 2020 elections, you can search for political ads with more visibility than ever before: you’ll be able to see more types of ads in our Political Ads Transparency Report and Ad Library, including ads that mention federal or state-level candidates, officeholders, ballot measures and political parties. Google recently announced changes to its global political ads policies that expand verification and transparency measures to ads that mention state-level candidates and officeholders, ballot measures, and political parties.