Google released an archive of online political advertisements Wednesday, revealing which campaigns are utilizing the world’s largest internet advertiser.
“We designed this report for anyone interested in transparency — the information is searchable and downloadable, so that you can easily access and sort through the data,” wrote Product Lead for Google’s Transparency Report Michee Smith, in a blog post Wednesday.
“We’re updating the report every week, so as we head into election season, anyone can see new ads that get uploaded or new advertisers that decide to run Google ads,” Smith added.
The archive allows users to see how much money campaigns are spending on Google’s online advertising — which easily dominates the online ad industry, controlling most ads internet users see.
The move follows Facebook and Twitter’s decision to release the same type of archive showing how much money is going toward advertisements on their respective platforms, who is paying for them and for which campaign.
Facebook announced May 24 that it would include a “Paid for by” link to advertisements on the platform. When users click the link, they’re redirected to an archive of ads by the group that paid for the ad, which also reveals all their other ads on the site and when they paid for the ad, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported.
Twitter announced Oct. 24, 2017, the same basic premise: a way for users to see where exactly their ads are coming from and who’s paying for them. (RELATED: Google And Facebook’s Ad Dominance Are Destroying Their Competitors)
The tech giants have been under fire since the 2016 election for ads on their platform that their critics say mislead unsuspecting users into supporting certain candidates — President Donald Trump is typically the go-to example.
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