Google releases archive of online political ads

Google releases archive of online political ads
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Google has released a library of political advertisements purchased on its platforms, revealing how much groups are spending on online campaign efforts and where they’re focusing.

The archive is a new part of the company's regular transparency report and comes in response to concerns about opaque online political advertisements, which grew in response to revelations of alleged Russian misinformation campaigns.

“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,” Google said in a blog post Wednesday.

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“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.”

The database shows that the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, a joint fundraiser between the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee, is the top spender on Google’s platforms, including Youtube. The PAC has spent $629,500 since May 31, purchasing more than 1,300 ads across Google’s services.

Florida, where Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonJuan Williams: America warms up to socialism Dems gain momentum 50 days before midterms Jeb Bush campaigns with Rick Scott in Florida MORE (D) faces a tough reelection bid, far outpaces the rest of the country in online ad buys on Google. Political groups have already spent more than $1.1 million in the past two and a half months on the state's elections.

“Researchers, political watchdog groups and private citizens can use our data set to develop charts, graphs, tables or other visualizations of political advertising on Google Ads services,” Google said in its blog post. “Together with the Transparency Report, we hope this provides unprecedented, data-driven insights into election ads on our platform.”