Lynn Boylan MEP welcomes Government group to examine risk from online ads to elections and referendums
Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan believes the proposed interdepartmental group on the security of the electoral process ''must recognise the need for robust legislation''.
The Dublin MEP stated :
“I welcome the establishment of the interdepartmental group which includes the involvement of the Gardaí, Defence Forces and Standards In Public Office Commission.
"However - robust legislation remains the only solution . We must take our democratic process out of the hands of global internet giants.
“Misinformation campaigns, fake online profiles and other pages purporting to be neutral which have come to the fore in this referendum will likely be a feature in future campaigns.
"Nobody wants to shut down online discussion but regulation is needed in terms of online advertising as this is a simple matter of transparency for citizens.
“Facebook’s refusal to follow the Google ban on all ads relating to the referendum shows that a self-regulatory model is completely inadequate.
"An analysis by the social media intelligence agency Storyful has shown specifically targeted anonymous ads are coming from pages with no contact information.
“Many of these dubious ads are still currently appearing which was recently highlighted by the Journal.ie.
"This further proves that self-regulation does not work as these ads are merely using new ways to reach voters in the run up to polling day.
“Unregulated online advertising poses a significant threat to our democratic process.