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Google provides services to campaigns

BY Joshua Levy | Thursday, March 15 2007

I'm here at the Politics Online conference in Washington, D.C., and I'm listening to Eliot Schrage, Google VP of Global Communications, talk about Google's approach to politics ("we want to make all of the world's information available to everyone. That's political -- knowledge is power") and it's plans for the 2008 election. After running through what YouTube/Google contributes to the political process -- using videos of Hillary Clinton singing out of tune, John Edwards playing with his hair, and a few jokey videos about children running for president -- he said that Google will be setting up a special team to help campaigns use Google products during the 2008 campaign.

This is significant. While it's fairly easy for Google to say it's both impartial and political, and that it simply believes in freely available information, this revelation is a much more active approach to politics and the Internet. Schrage didn't elaborate much so we'll have to see what this will look like, but needless to say it's an interesting idea that raises a few questions. Are they offering these services for free? Will they reach out equally to all candidates? What services will they provide assistance for?

We'll report on this as we find out more. In the meantime you can send email to elections@google.com to get more information.