The European Union Tightens Its Rules; Urges Big Techs Including Facebook And Google To Make Political Ads More Transparent

The Vice president of the European Union, Vera Jourova said that online promotion of political ads is dominated by non-transparent methods, while there is no watchdog to look after this matter.

On Thursday, the EU officially announced the new rules: orders that online technology giants are to clearly label the paid political ads. The reports suggest that the EU requires the media networking giants to be more explicit and transparent to share the details of who pays them for the ads and also the methods they use to target the audience.

If the companies deny complying, it might result in them paying a fine of 4% of their yearly turnover.

The Commission Vice president said that the users must know the source and purpose of the ads. She said that even minute details like who paid for the ad and how much was the cost is important for the technology giants to mention.

Additionally, the commission stated the ban of the political attacking tactics that makes use of sensitive personal data of its users.

After the commission comes into practice, the social media companies would lose the power to use the user’s personal information like ethnic background, holy credence, and sexual orientation to promote political identities.

The commission clearly stated that the companies must mention that the information of the intention behind targeting customers and must also tag the group of people who were targeted.

Nevertheless, the rules don’t apply to politicians while they post on their accounts.

Ironically, a social media platform like Facebook (Meta) - which has faced much criticism regarding being opaque while advertising political content, appreciated the action taken by the EU. Whereas, Google also approved of the updated rules and was in favor of it.

Twitter has always avoided political advertisement by using opaque methods; it banned political promotion on the app back in 2019. The technology major believes in earning political reach rather than buying it supremacy.

The authorities that are responsible for data preservation will keep a strict check on all the EU member companies. Huge fines would be charged to the companies that would be reluctant to practice the upgraded rules.

After promising to introduce the new rules for political ad transparency, last year, the EU is finally here with a strict ordinance.
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