Google (GOOGL.O) of Alphabet Inc announced on Wednesday that it will prohibit political advertising on its platform in the run-up to Philippine elections in May next year to elect a successor to President Rodrigo Duterte.
The decision comes as social media companies face scrutiny for how they handle political advertising during the 2020 presidential election in the United States.
Social media platforms have become political battlegrounds in the Southeast Asian nation, with surveys revealing that Filipinos rank first in the world in terms of social media time spent.
Google stated in an amendment to its political content policy that election advertising that advocates or opposes any political party or the candidacy of any individual or party for public office will be prohibited from running between Feb. 8 and May 9, 2022.
The dates span the campaign phase in the Philippines until election day on May 9.
Google stated that impacted advertisers would be notified of the policy change.
Google has previously prohibited political advertising on its platform, notably during Canada’s federal election in 2019 and a Singapore election in 2020.
Social media sites like as Facebook have strengthened Duterte’s support base, with observers crediting them with his election success in 2016 and his allies’ humiliation in mid-term polls last year.
The Philippines will elect a successor to Duterte, who is not allowed to run for re-election under the constitution but will run for a senatorial seat.