Google to scrutinise political ads before EU polls

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San Francisco, Nov 23 (IANS) 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).

"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.

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.

The company will 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.

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