DARK ADS

Who's targeting you online?

Political parties spent £3.2 million on Facebook advertising for the 2017 General Election.

When our election rules were last properly updated in 2000 – Facebook didn't even exist. Despite recent scandals, online political campaigning remains an unregulated Wild West. 

Voters on all sides deserve to know who is paying for online campaign adverts – and why we’re being targeted. It’s time we brought the law up to date so campaigns are transparent about who’s paying for our politics, and why.

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Petition:

We need a comprehensive review and overhaul of our electoral law, to make it future-proofed for the digital age.

  • We need to extend ‘imprints’ – where leaflets must show who produced them and on whose behalf – to online political advertising.
  • Campaigners should report social media spend separately, in a digital format, in real time during a campaign.
  • Create a single online database of political adverts
  • The Electoral Commission’s paltry £20,000 maximum fine for rule-breaking should be uncapped.
  • We must establish a statutory code of practice for political parties and campaigners without delay.

Transparency must be the rule, not the exception. ​The government need to act now.

Background:

Who's targeting you online

Micro targeting online adverts means you get political adverts tailored to your interests. But, as you only see the adverts targeted at you, it means campaigners can promise different, opposing, things to different people.

Facebook have been pushed to open up about political ads in recent weeks, but the government has been accused of dithering

We can’t leave political transparency to the whim of big tech firms: it’s time for a campaign overhaul.