Google has said that it be will rolling out some new policies and features across Europe in order to provide deeper transparency around the firms who will be taking out political advertisements on its platform. The said announcement comes ahead of the elections of the European Parliament that are scheduled for next year.
Lie Junius, the director of EU public policy of Google, said that the tech giant will now require any ads that will be mentioning a political party, candidate or any current officeholder to make sure that the voters will clearly know who is paying for the advertising.
It is also set to introduce a new verification process for those who will be applying for ad space. It comes as an attempt to fight the appearance of fake news on the website from spam groups, targeted users, or bots. The political advertisers will also be required to submit documents such as a party registration document in order to gain access.
In time, this will lead to an ads transparency report that will be specific for the EU elections, as well as a searchable public database, that is aimed to provide open information regarding who is purchasing the adverts, who they are targeted towards, and the amount that is being spent on them.
Junius stated: “Our goal is to make this information as accessible and useful as possible to citizens, practitioners, and researchers.”
Last September, the European Commission said that tech companies such as Facebook and Google had already signed an agreed-upon code of conduct to do more efforts in order to fight fake news, over the concerns that it can affect the elections.
Junius added: “We’re thinking hard about elections and how we continue to support democratic processes around the world, including by bringing more transparency to political advertising online.”