Google algorithm seemingly didn’t recognize Beto O’Rourke as political candidate

Google algorithm seemingly didn’t recognize Beto O’Rourke as political candidate
Beto O'Rourke on skateboard (Image: WRIS video via Twitter)

[Ed. – I’m not sure that’s on Google’s algorithm. If you know what I mean.]

Google has been treating Beto’s campaign ads as if they weren’t political content, raising questions over whether Google is capable of keeping its already anemic promise of transparency for political ads.

Google has promised to put ads it receives from candidates for US federal political offices in its political ad archive, for transparency’s sake. But the Beto ads reviewed by Quartz were missing from the archive—until we alerted Google to their existence. Google’s own rules don’t allow any political content in Gmail ads, but Beto’s campaign ads kept showing up there.

A Google spokesperson tells Quartz that there was “error in our enforcement process” that led to both problems.

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