How Big Tech Plans To Protect Democracy: Google Announces Its New Measures for the Election Day


The search giant has partnered with Associated Press to provide users with accurate, real-time information

Yesterday, Google announced that it has collaborated with Associated Press (AP) to bring the latest election coverage online. As Election Day comes closer, the company hopes to help users navigate the voting process and follow the results after polls close. With Americans following the elections near, Google wants to make information easily accessible through Search and Assistant.

Users will be able to find real-time information by simply searching for “election results” or saying, “Hey Google, what are the current election results?” Google will provide a dedicated feature with data from AP across federal and state-level races in over 70 languages.

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Users will also be able to view real-time election night live stream from new providers on YouTube and link to coverage from news sources on Google Search.

The company said in a recent blog post, “In the many months leading up to Election Day, we have consistently focused our efforts on helping voters, protecting our platforms from abuse, and equipping campaigns. In advance of nationwide voter deadlines — which varied significantly by state – we helped make it easier for you to find your local deadlines, requirements and voting options. We were proud to partner with the nonpartisan National Voter Registration Day again this year to spread awareness about voter registration and make this information accessible and easy for you to find.”

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YouTube will also feature information panels to help users navigate authoritative content about relevant election-related search results, including searches about federal or presidential candidates, voter registration, and how to vote.

Users can visit Google Search and Maps through November 3rd and ask Google Assistant for information on how to vote. Google has also made it easier for users to find voting locations and allot drop boxes near them. They just need to look for “voting locations near me” on Google Search or ask Google Assistant, “Hey Google, where do I vote?” to surface the latest results.

The company also announced that it had deployed Trust and Safety teams and its Threat Analysis Group to monitor its platforms around the clock for abuse. Google says that it will coordinate closely with law enforcement agencies and other technology companies to share leads and threat information around suspected election interference. The company has also stated that given the possibility of delayed election results, it will enforce its Sensitive Events policy as soon as the polls close on November 3rd to temporarily pause ads referencing the election, candidates, or outcomes.

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Google also said that it had equipped campaigns with tools needed to strengthen their own security, reach voters, and mitigate the risk against digital attacks. “When the 2020 primaries kicked off, we teamed up with the Defending Digital Campaigns to provide federal campaigns with free security keys, the strongest form of two-factor authentication. Even in the final days preceding the election, we will continue to educate campaigns about digital security and urge them to enroll in our Advanced Protection Program.”