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Political Ads Under Scrutiny By Google Before The EU Elections

Google News Lab will collaborate with news organisations across all 27 countries to support online fact checking

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company's offices in Toronto. VOA

In the run-up to European Union (EU) elections in May 2019, Google will introduce a EU-specific Election Ads Transparency Report and searchable ad library to provide more information about who is purchasing election ads, whom they’re targeted to and how much money is being spent.

In May 2019, up to 350 million voters across the EU will take to the Parliamentary polls to elect 705 Members of European Parliament (MEPs).

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during a news conference in New Delhi. VOA

“To support this democratic process, we’re rolling out products and programmes to help people get the information they need to cast their votes,” Lie Junius, Director, EU Public Policy and Government Relations, said in a blog post on Thursday.

Google will require ads that mention a political party, candidate or current officeholder, to make it clear to voters who are paying for the advertising.

“We’ll also introduce a new process to verify EU election advertisers to make sure they are who they say they are,” Junius added.

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A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

The company will also work with campaigns, elections officials, journalists, human rights organisations and others across the EU to ensure the security of the online platforms that they depend on.

“For the EU 2019 Parliamentary elections, we’re offering in-person security training to the most vulnerable groups, who face increased risks of phishing attacks,” said Google.

Also Read: How Political Ads Work, A Guide By Facebook And Google

The company will be walking them through Google’s Advanced Protection Programme and Project Shield, a free service that uses Google technology to protect news sites and free expression from DDoS attacks on the web.

“Google News Lab will collaborate with news organisations across all 27 countries to support online fact checking,” said the company. (IANS)

Next Story

Facebook to Bring Specific Tools to Boost Election Engagement

Both the new tools are being made available in 12 local languages across India

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This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

Social-networking site Facebook on Tuesday launched two new India-specific tools — “Candidate Connect” and “Share You Voted” — to boost civic engagement on its platform during the general elections that commence in April.

While “Candidate Connect” will help people learn more about candidates, the “Share You Voted” will provide people with polling information and enable them to announce and celebrate their vote, the company said in a statement.

“We have more than tripled the team working on safety and security to 30,000 people, introduced unprecedented transparency requirements for political advertising, improved our ability to detect and remove fake accounts and stepped up our efforts to fight false news and misinformation,” said Samidh Chakrabarti, Director, Product Management for Civic Integrity, Facebook.

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A photo shows the Facebook app icon on an iPhone in New York, Feb. 19, 2014. VOA

Starting next week, voters in India, either through a bookmark in their settings, or through a message in their News Feed would be able to watch 20-second videos of candidates contesting from their respective constituencies.

The company said that the questions included in “Candidate Connect” are outcomes of locally conducted consumer research programmes.

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“We aim to better equip our users as they look forward to participating in the political process of the country,” Chakrabarti further added.

Both the new tools are being made available in 12 local languages across India. (IANS)