On Thursday, Google announced about putting up stricter political advertising requirements to the European Union. This was a part of efforts to curb misinformation and improve the transparency ahead of the bloc’s elections next year.
As the EU prepares for the elections, US tech companies have been facing pressure to contribute more to counter the foreign influence campaigns that were followed by the allegations that online platforms had been misused to meddle with the elections in the US and in other places as well.
Google will require that every political advertisement discloses information about who is paying for it as well as tightening up its identity verification process for ad buyers. Google has also added that it would publish a report regarding the transparency of EU election ads and a library of political ads which will be public and anyone can search for it, which gives more information on buyers, their target audience, and how the money is spent.
It is an extension to the system which Google brought in 2018 for US political ads. Facebook too introduced a system similar to that pf Google, of its own for the US, Brazil, and Britain earlier this year.
Google’s director of EU public policy and government relations, Lie Junius, during a blog post, said thus- “Like others, we’re thinking hard about elections and how we continue to support democratic processes around the world, including by bringing more transparency to political advertising online.” Google was one of the innumerable tech companies which signed up to an EU code of conduct, in the month of September, that aims at fighting online disinformation.
The significance of this elections is that hundreds of millions of people from more than 27 countries are all set to choose about 705 EU lawmakers during the elections in the month of May in 2019.