Spotify takes a dig at Facebook, bans political ads

San Francisco, Dec 28 (IANS) Taking a dig at Facebook which is yet to take a decision on banning political ads, Swedish music streaming company Spotify has joined tech firms like Twitter and Google in applying brakes on political advertising on its platform.

Spotify said it would indefinitely suspend political ads because it can’t sufficiently vet them.

“At this point in time, we do not yet have the necessary level of robustness in our process, systems and tools to responsibly validate and review this content,” the company said in a statement to the trade publication Ad Age.

“We will reassess this decision as we continue to evolve our capabilities.”

Spotify has 248 million users, including 113 million subscribers, across 79 markets, and offers original and exclusive podcasts like “The Joe Budden Podcast” and “Amy Schumer Presents.”

Spotify joins other tech companies like Twitter and Google to tackle the flow of misinformation in the likely-polarizing 2020 presidential election.

Google in November announced new limits on political advertisers globally from micro-targeting users via election ads based on their political affiliation.

The main formats Google offers political advertisers are Search ads, YouTube ads and display ads. Under the new rules, political advertisers may target their ads only down to the postal code level.

“We’re limiting election ads audience targeting to the following general categories: age, gender, and general location (postal code level). Political advertisers can, of course, continue to do contextual targeting, such as serving ads to people reading or watching a story about, say, the economy,” said Scott Spencer, VP, Product Management, Google Ads.

Tech giants are facing scrutiny over political ads from the US regulators.

Twitter, on November 15, officially banned all kinds of political ads from its platform. No political content will be promoted from candidates, parties, governments or officials, public accounts committees (PACs) and certain political non-profit groups, said the micro-blogging platform.

Facebook, which is the mainstay of political advertising, is yet to announce new curbs on fake election ads. Facebook recently allowed US President Donald Trump’s campaign office to post a fake ad about Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden on its platform.

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