Mozilla to Facebook, Google: Ban Political Ads Before UK Election
In an open letter, Mozilla, academics, and campaigners said that the two social media giants needed to stop political ads until Dec. 12 because ‘UK citizens cannot trust the information they are encountering online.’
The Mozilla Foundation, a group of researchers, technologists, digital rights defenders, and Internet users who are calling on Facebook and Google put a moratorium on political ads until December 12 when elections in the UK will be concluded.
News Insights: Chris Olson, CEO of The Media Trust says, “Turning off political ads might not even be a short-term solution. The problem is, disinformation campaigns can occur all throughout the year, not just in the run up to elections. Moreover, we seem to give too much focus on the message and not enough on the mechanism that allows these messages to spread—the opaque digital ecosystem that can target audiences whose online behaviors indicate are receptive to certain messages, including extreme or inaccurate information. Policymakers, the public, and players across the digital ad supply chain should work together on addressing this issue, which will not be resolved with piecemeal solutions that only nibble at the edges. Regulations will need to catch up, no doubt, but increasing transparency on who’s doing what and what for in the digital ecosystem will prove more effective and far reaching. Even if you shut down political ads in certain platforms, the ad dollars will simply be rerouted elsewhere in the ecosystem.”