Google's 2023 Ads Safety Report shows progress in combating scams, deepfakes, and election misinformation

Google's 2023 Ads Safety Report shows progress in combating scams, deepfakes, and election misinformation

Google today released its annual Ads Safety Report, detailing its ongoing efforts and significant technological advancements in protecting users and advertisers within the digital advertising ecosystem.

The report emphasizes Google's commitment to combating fraudulent activities and ensuring election integrity in the face of emerging challenges like generative AI and the rising threat of deepfake-powered scams.

Key Takeaways from the Report:

  • Harnessing Generative AI for Safety: Google highlights the integration of Large Language Models (LLMs) to improve its ad safety enforcement systems. LLMs allow for faster and more precise detection of policy violations, especially in complex areas like unreliable financial claims.
  • Combatting Scams and Fraud: Scams were a major focus of Google's efforts in 2023. Among the initiatives was the Limited Ads Serving policy, designed to protect users from less familiar advertisers with potentially dubious practices. Additionally, dedicated response teams were deployed to rapidly dismantle targeted scam campaigns, particularly those utilizing deepfakes.
  • Protecting Election Integrity: Google reasserted its rigorous standards for election ads, including mandatory verification for election advertisers and strict targeting restrictions. In 2023, Google removed over 7.3 million election ads from non-verified advertisers and continued its policy on rejecting ads with false election-related claims.
  • Overall Enforcement Success: Google blocked or removed a staggering 5.5 billion bad ads in 2023 and suspended 12.7 million fraudulent advertiser accounts. Over 90% of publisher page-level enforcement actions were initiated through machine learning models and LLMs.

Duncan Lennox, VP & GM of Ads Privacy and Safety, wrote:
"We take these challenges seriously and will outline the work we are doing to address them head-on."

The report emphasizes Google's continuous investment and adaptation to combat evolving threats in the digital advertising landscape. Initiatives like the Ads Transparency Center and updated suitability controls further empower users and advertisers. The company anticipates a dynamic 2024, with ongoing investment and innovation to stay ahead of emerging challenges and ensure a safe and trustworthy ad-supported internet.

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