Lawmakers Call For Pause On Targeted Political Adverts

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Pause online political adverts that are targeted and contain false information, international lawmakers have urged tech firms

An international “grand committee” of lawmakers have urged there be a pause on online targeted political ads, that contain false or misleading information.

The lawmakers say that online political ads should be paused until the area is properly regulated.

It comes after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faces ongoing pressure from campaigners and authorities, to ban political content on the platform.

Political ads

Zuckerberg has been on the defensive recently over Facebook’s stance of allowing adverts from politicians that contain false or misleading claims.

He said Facebook did not want to stifle political speech.

The pressure on Zuckerberg was increased when Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey revealed that from 20 November, Twitter would ban all political adverts around the world.

The committee had first met back in November 2018 in London, where an empty chair for Zuckerberg was placed after he declined to be questioned, Reuters reported.

There is growing concern about the use of online political adverts.

Politicians can target groups of voters on social media, based on user data such as location, age and interests. Critics are very concerned this, as it could be exploited by candidates issuing false or misleading information.

Targeted ads

Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates this week when asked about about his stance on political adverts, said he was more concerned by the targeting of these ads at various sections of the global community.

This sentiment was echoed by Europe’s antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager, who was speaking at the Web Summit, in Lisbon, Portugal, Reuters reported.

“If it’s only in your feed, between you and Facebook, and their micro-targeting of who you are, that’s not democracy anymore,” Vestager reportedly said.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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