Selena Gomez sent a direct Instagram message to Google CEO Sundar Pichai asking him to “immediately” stop allowing ads on Google-related sites that are spreading election disinformation.
Gomez’s Instagram Story from Tuesday night (Oct. 27) revealed that the singer sent a DM to Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet Inc., parent company to Google LLC, in which she made the urgent request.
“Hi Sundar, although we have never met, I just learned that Google is making millions of dollars putting ads on websites that spread disinformation about our election,” she wrote. “I’m hoping you are also just finding this out too. Please shut this down immediately. The fate of our country depends on it.”
Though Gomez did not mention any specific ads, the Washington Post reported in August that Google approved, and did not remove, an ad from an organization with a connection to a conservative non-profit that contained misleading information that cast doubt on the security of mail-in voting; President Trump has repeatedly claimed without evidence that mail-in voting is subject to potential fraud.
According to the Post, the misleading ads appeared on sites tied to mail-in voting in key swing states including Florida, Michigan and Texas.
A spokesperson for Google had not returned Billboard’s request for comment at press time, but Google’s Charlotte Smith told the paper, “We have zero tolerance for ads that employ voter suppression tactics or undermine participation in elections. When we find those ads, we take them down,” though she did not say why the anti-mail-in voting ads were not removed.
Earlier this week, Google announced that it will partner with the Associated Press to “deliver authoritative information on election results” on Google Search and Assistant and that it will ban political ads on its platforms after the polls close on election day (Nov. 3) in light of the possibility of delayed election results due to a flood of mail-in and absentee voting during the pandemic, according to Techcrunch.
See Gomez’s Story below.