President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign and the GOP’s top political arms are accusing Google of suppressing voter turnout in the 2020 election after the search giant announced it will no longer let campaigns and elected officials target highly specific groups of users with political advertisements.
The joint statement from the Trump campaign, Republican National Committee, National Republican Senatorial Committee and National Republican Congressional Committee calls on Google to reverse its new policy, which only allows them to target ads based on broad categories like age, gender and zip code. It goes into effect in the U.S. early next year.
“There can be no denying that President Trump and his campaign have built the greatest digital operation in all of politics, and that Google’s decision will disproportionately impact both the Trump operation and all of the Republican candidates and organizations that derive strength from it,” the statement reads.
Story Continued Below
Though Google’s policy change applies across the political spectrum, Republicans are “are highly skeptical that such a ban would be applied equally to conservative and liberal organizations,” according to the statement. Trump and other top Republicans have accused Silicon Valley companies, without evidence, of censoring and suppressing conservative speech.
Google defended the move Tuesday. “We know that political campaign strategists on both sides of the aisle have raised concerns about how our changes may alter their targeting strategies,” a spokesperson said in a statement, “but we believe the balance we have struck — allowing political ads to remain on our platforms while limiting narrow targeting that can reduce the visibility of ads and trust in electoral processes — is the right one.”
Democrats also rebuked Google’s decision last week.
Twitter has banned all advertisements from elected officials and campaigns, but Republicans note this “equally concerning decision” will have an “insignificant” impact because Twitter has a smaller user base. “Google, however, is a serious platform with very deep reach across the entire country,” the statement reads.