Who Targets Me is a campaign group that aims to lift the veil from online political advertising. They have developed a plug-in which people can volunteer to use which means the group can see who is receiving targeted political adverts on social media. Because of the targeting, it is often very difficult for anyone who has not been sent the advert directly to see it.
The group is also campaigning to institute better rules to govern the conduct of political advertising. You may well have seen my posts and thoughts about the need for better rules, and I like what WTM have done with their thoughts.
I would encourage you to read the full post here, but I’m going to take the liberty of posting the rules they advocate and a bit of their thinking below.
In essence, the group believes that it would be wrong to have some form of officially appointed regulator or online adverts. Such a body would be expensive, slow and only able to handle a tiny percentage of the adverts published each year. In addition, their decisions would become politically contentious.
Instead, they are proposing rules which would reduce the way in which advertising can be abused, preserve freedom of expression and targeting and preserve public confidence. Their ten ideas are:
- Collaborate to define what is ‘political’.
- Require maximum transparency for political advertising.
- Force strong verification.
- Make advertisers earn the ‘right’ to advertise.
- Allow fewer ads.
- Make ‘ads’ ads again.
- Introduce a blackout period for political advertising.
- Ensure these measures are ‘always on’.
- Enforce the rules and increase the penalties for breaking them.
- Update the rules regularly, transparently and accountably.
In their article they list the reasoning for each of these proposals and again I would encourage you to read the whole thing.