Google has announced it will publicise the identity of organisations paying for political ads during the 2019 EU Parliamentary Elections. Any ad that mentions a political party, candidate, or officeholder will have to tell users who paid for it, with Google also introducing a new process to verify these identities.
The Election Ads Transparency Report which summarises which organisations are spending the money in which locations, will also be returning from 2017’s US Midterm Elections.
Google’s plan to clarify the source of ads placed on its network mirrors a similar initiative announced by Facebook last month, and is a step towards making online political advertising more transparent.
However, its definition of political ads is surprisingly narrow in the context of political misinformation campaigns we’ve seen online in recent years.