Facebook, Google and Twitter Have Failed to Deliver a Transparent Method for Political Campaigns

After the recent American elections, things completely changed for social networking platform and major tech giants. The election that was once rumored to be hijacked by the Russians soon turned into a completely different story of data and privacy breach. It is now common knowledge that social media is playing an important role in building a perspective about politics. A recent study revealed that even after the clear explosion of data breach stories, tech giants are doing near to none, for making things better.

According to a recent report conducted by London-based charity Privacy International, most of the users globally lack basic insight about how targeted advertisements social media works. When it comes to understanding how targeting the audience is selected and how advertisement works, Google is the most difficult of all.
"Google provides heightened transparency for political ads in 30 countries (roughly 15% of the countries in the world). Which means that for roughly 85% of the countries, the company does not require political advertisers to become authorized, for political ads to carry disclosures, or for ads to be archived."
This is the main reason; advertisers can send customized messages to various groups of users. When asked about the transparency on political campaigns, Alex Krasov the spokesperson of Google explained that, Google is aware of the issue and they know more work is required. Currently, Google is trying hard to improve the transparency of political ads.

After the Russian elections hijack rumors, more tech giants are now sharing information about the political advertisement because now US intelligence is also getting involved in these political advertisements and how they are running. The biggest role player in this scandal was Facebook and so, when asked about the political standing of Facebook, the spokesperson at Facebook explained that the company had now made strict rules when it comes to the political advertisements and improving transparency on Facebook as well on Instagram.

Shockingly among all the tech giants, Twitter has not yet responded to the political advertisement problem and how they are looking forward to making it better. Ahead of the European Commission’s own report, privacy international has shown concern about the self-regulating code of practice that most of the tech giants are using the spread of the misinformation. To make the process smooth, companies and trade industries that work for the advertisement industry have signed up to the European Commission’s voluntary measures. It is yet to determine how effective this drill is because it seems things are just working good in papers and not in real life.

Read next: Americans Are Wary of the Role Social Media Sites Play in Delivering the News
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