Google puts a lot of effort into creating and enforcing policies to prevent abuse while enabling publishers and businesses to thrive in the digital world. In 2022, Google added or updated 29 policies for advertisers and publishers to protect users from fraud and scams, block and remove harmful content, combat misinformation, respond to the war in Ukraine, and prioritise child safety. Google’s financial services certification program was expanded to 10 new countries, and additional restrictions were placed to prevent spammers from creating thousands of accounts to spread malware.
Over the past few years, Google has implemented comprehensive measures to address misinformation and unreliable claims in our advertising ecosystem. Among these measures are our policies that prohibit harmful health claims and claims that are demonstrably false and could weaken trust and engagement in elections. Google blocked or removed over 5.2 billion ads, restricted over 4.3 billion ads, and suspended over 6.7 million advertiser accounts over the last year. The system relied on a combination of human reviews and automated systems powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning to enforce its policies.
With My Ad Center, Google allows users to adjust their ad preferences and limit sensitive categories. In three months, it received over 70 million visits globally. Google also verified advertiser identities in over 240 countries and launched advertiser pages in the US and globally. Now, Google is launching the Ads Transparency Center, a searchable database of verified advertisers across all our platforms.
Google says that the company’s top priority is ensuring the safety of kids and teens worldwide, and we consider this when designing products and creating policies. To achieve this, Google blocked ad targeting and personalization for young kids and filtered mature ad categories such as sexually explicit content, gambling, alcohol, and pharmaceutical drugs.
In 2021, the company expanded these protections globally to all users under 18 by blocking ad targeting based on age, gender, or interests and preventing age-sensitive ad categories from serving teens. The company has already rolled out these changes globally, and we now prohibit ads promoting dating apps, contests, sweepstakes, and weight loss products to people under 18.
Looking ahead to 2023, Google plans to focus on ensuring a secure and reliable advertising experience for users, which the company says is crucial to the mission to organise and provide universal access to information. Throughout the year, the company will remain committed to combating abuse on the platforms while supporting advertisers and publishers in expanding their businesses.