The ads were discovered by the nonprofit tech watchdog Tech Transparency Project.
Google has said it has removed misleading and fraudulent ads targeting Americans looking for information about how to vote in November’s presidential election. Some of the ads charged fees for registering people to vote, while others sucked up people’s personal information for marketing purposes. The ads were discovered by the nonprofit tech watchdog Tech Transparency Project.
The group found that search terms such as “register to vote,” “vote by mail” and “where is my polling place” generated ads linking to websites that charge fees for voter registration, harvest user data, or plant unwanted software on people’s browsers.
Google says such ads are prohibited on its platform. “We are committed to protecting users from abuse on our platforms, especially when it comes to information about elections,” said Google spokeswoman Charlotte Smith on Monday.