Google has announced a set of tools all over Europe to ensure political transparency during the parliamentary European Union EU Elections 2019 and in order to crack down on “dark adverts” online. Any ad which mentions a political party, candidate, or officeholders will have to tell users who have paid for the ad, also, Google introducing new techniques to verify these identities.
The Election Ads Transparency Report that gives information which organization spending money in which places, also returning the 2017’s US Midterm Elections. Google plans to provide the source of ads placed on its network shows a similar effort announced by Facebook last month. It is basically a step to make online political advertising more transparent.
These policies are a response of Russian misinformation campaign during 2016 Presidential elections when Facebook’s chief security officer, Alex Stamos claims that “vast majority” of ads purchased during the election by a company linked to the Russian government. The political impact can go further from the ads, like Fake Facebook accounts, YouTube channels, and Twitter Bots all these networks have been used to create an influence of elections.
Google can control ads purchased over its service, but this is just a small step to tackle misinformation over the internet. It is not clear how Google be able to establish real identities of the people paying for ads as it becomes necessary to know where’s all the political funding are frequently hidden. Last year, at the congressional hearing US-based shell companies were used to buy ads, Whereas in the UK origins of Brexit-financier Aaron Banks’ wealth is under investigation by the UK National Crime Agency.
The transparency policy is good but it will become effective on one condition if we can find out by verification that from where all the funding come. There are Six months remaining in the EU Elections and there is a lot of work that needed to be done.