Gemini to limit election-related content, Google confirms

The Google Gemini app
(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google is pulling up its sleeves to tackle misinformation during the upcoming elections in several countries by adding new restrictions to Gemini.
  • Google made this announcement a few days before the election schedule in India was announced.
  • The company is partnering with the Election Commission of India (ECI) to help people easily discover critical voting information on Google Search and other search engines.

The tech giant Google is taking measures to combat misinformation on its platform about the upcoming elections in several countries.

As first spotted by TechCrunch, the Gemini chatbot will be programmed to restrict queries related to elections globally, especially in countries where the elections are scheduled to take place. 

In a recent blog post, Google India stated that it is "committed to supporting the election process by surfacing high-quality information to voters, safeguarding our platforms from abuse, and helping people navigate AI-generated content."

When a query about a particular political party, date of the elections, or a candidate is asked, Gemini shows a message: “I’m still learning how to answer this question. In the meantime, try Google Search.

“Out of an abundance of caution on such an important topic, we have begun to roll out restrictions on the types of election-related queries for which Gemini will return responses," Google added. When asked, the company did not specify the specific types of queries it will restrict but pointed us to a similar announcement in December 2023, when Google first announced it would implement similar restrictions to combat misinformation during this year's undoubtedly biggest U.S. presidential elections.

However, Android Central spotted that when the candidate's name is incorrect, Gemini generates a brief background about the candidate, along with further exploration links and the country's perception of the candidate. Google did not provide a comment when asked if it plans to address this as the restrictions roll out.

Google made this announcement a few days before the election schedule in India was announced. According to TechCrunch, Gemini and the Indian government had a slight tiff last month. The AI tool responded to a query about whether Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a fascist, responding that Modi had been accused of implementing policies that some had characterized as fascist. 

India’s deputy IT minister, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, called it a “direct violation” of the IT Rules, 2021. 

Recently, the Indian government caused a stir by issuing an advisory requiring tech companies to gain government approval before launching new AI models. This move faced backlash from founders of AI startups. In response, the government clarified that this restriction was only applicable to "significant" tech companies and not start-ups. 

Google India Elections support

(Image credit: Google)

Along with having restrictions on its AI chatbot, Google is collaborating with the Election Commission of India (ECI) to help people easily discover critical voting information on Google Search - such as how to register and how to vote - in both English and Hindi. 

YouTube will highlight content from authoritative news sources during key moments through its Top News and Breaking News shelves and news watch page. These will be displayed on the YouTube homepage, in search results, and in the “Up Next” panel.

Google says it will protect the integrity of the upcoming elections by having strict policies about who can run election-related advertising on our platforms.  Google will also have designated tools to enable newsrooms and journalists to deliver reliable, fact-checked updates to debunk misinformation. 

Nandika Ravi
News Editor

Nandika Ravi is an Editor for Android Central. Based in Toronto, after rocking the news scene as a Multimedia Reporter and Editor at Rogers Sports and Media, she now brings her expertise into the Tech ecosystem. When not breaking tech news, you can catch her sipping coffee at cozy cafes, exploring new trails with her boxer dog, or leveling up in the gaming universe.

  • mn1225
    Interesting development since Google has been interfering with elections for years. Gemini not required.