The European Commission has just published its draft regulation on the transparency of political advertising online. The draft law is an important step towards increasing the resilience of European democracies for the digital age. Below we give our preliminary reaction to the new rules.
We’ve long championed a healthier ecosystem for political advertising around the world, whether its by pushing for stronger commitments in the EU Code of Practice on Disinformation; uncovering the risks associated with undisclosed political influencer advertising on TikTok; supporting efforts to limit political microtargeting; or pushing platforms to effectively implement their Terms of Service during electoral periods. We’re glad to see that in its draft law the European Commission has taken on board many of our insights and recommendations, and those of our allies in the policy community.
Reacting to the publication of the EU Political Advertising regulation, Owen Bennett, Senior Policy Manager at Mozilla, said:
Political advertising is a crucial part of democratic discourse, and the means by which it is designed, delivered, and consumed has been radically transformed by digital technology. While that transformation has brought new opportunities for civil engagement and pluralism, we have seen too many examples around the world of how online political advertising can be a vector for disinformation; electoral interference; and a range of other societal harms.
We’re glad to see the EU respond to this challenge and set out new rules of the road. The draft law complements the platform accountability vision of the DSA, and it doesn’t shirk from tackling novel forms of paid online influence and the risks associated with amplification and microtargeting.
We look forward to working with lawmakers in the European Parliament and EU Council to ensure the final law increases trust in political advertising and enhances the resilience of democracy in the digital age.