Google reportedly mulling changes to political ads policy

Google is in talks over making changes to its political ads policy, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. The reported discussions come as social media giants Facebook and Twitter take different tacks on the issue.

The company has been holding internal meetings on possible changes to the policy and is expected to share more information with its employees as soon as this week, sources told the newspaper. The changes could be related to audience targeting, employees told the Journal.

Google's reported talks come as the debate over political messages on social media intensifies ahead of the 2020 US elections. Twitter announced last month it would stop selling ads concerning candidates for office, elections or political issues such as climate change and immigration, with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey saying that "political message reach should be earned, not bought."

Twitter's move has put more pressure on Facebook to follow suit. Facebook, which allows politicians to lie in ads, has been criticized for allowing the spread of misinformation.

Misinformation played a role in the 2016 presidential election, with Russians trolls purchasing Facebook ads in an effort to sow discord among Americans. Other social media companies, such as short-form video app TikTok, have barred political ads in order to protect its light-hearted culture.

Google didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.