Google is stepping up its campaign to make world’s largest democratic exercise — the Indian General Elections 2019 — more transparent. The company has today announced that ahead of the Lok Sabha Election 2019, it is bringing more openness to election advertising online.

To bring more transparency to the online election ads, Google will introduce an India-specific Political Advertising Transparency Report and searchable Political Ads Library. These two reports, which are currently live for the US, show you exact data on how much each party is spending on political campaigning via Google Ads. These charts also show you the agencies who are doing this on behalf of the parties. The India Political Ads Transparency Report and Ads Library will go live in March 2019.

Announced recently, an updated election ads policy for India will now require advertisers that are running election ads in India to provide a ‘pre-certificate’ issued by the Election Commision of India (ECI) or anyone authorized by the ECI, for each ad they wish to run. Further, Google will verify the identity of advertisers before their election ads run on its platforms. The advertiser verification process will begin on 14 February 2019. Advertisers can refer to the India India election ads policy for more details.

In 2019, over 850 million Indians are expected to cast their vote to elect the country’s next government. We’re thinking hard about elections and how we continue to support democratic processes in India and around the world. In line with this, we are bringing more transparency to election advertising online, and surfacing relevant information to help people better navigate the electoral process.

said Chetan Krishnaswamy, Director – Public Policy, Google India

In the build-up to elections, people need useful and relevant information to help them navigate the electoral process. For the Lok Sabha Election 2019, Google will make electoral information from the Election Commission of India and other authoritative sources easily discoverable on Search.

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