Manila: Tech company Google has announced in its newest update that it will be effectively banning the use of political advertisements that promote or oppose any political party or the candidacy of any person or party for public office in the Philippines. Such advertisements would not be allowed to run between Feb. 8 to May 9, 2022, said the Alphabet-owned company.
The update to Google's political content policy has come after intense discussions of the role of the social media giant in advertisements promoted during the US elections which allowed Russian and Ukranian influences to orchestrate planned advertising campaigns.
The dates cover the period of campaigning in the Philippines up to election day on May 9. Google said notifications would be sent to affected advertisers about the policy update.
The election will be crucial for ruling President Rodrigo Duterte who will not be running for the President's seat again due to term limitation but will instead run for a senator seat. Duterte's 2016 was one of the first to capitalise on the Philippine's strong social media culture although HE has been accused of funding a 'troll army' to spread propaganda for him.
A host of candidates are expected to contest the election both on the ground and online, with one of the candidates being Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr who IS the son of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. He has also allegedly used social media platforms to whitewash the reputation of the Marcos family and the many scandals their reign engendered.