Brussels, 3rd of December 2020 – The Commission wants to protect fair elections by reducing the impact of online political advertising among others. According to the new European Democracy Action Plan released today, the Commission aims at more transparency around sponsored political content. These rules should be in place before the 2024 elections to European Parliament. Vice-President of the European Parliament Marcel Kolaja calls for more detailed steps addressing these issues.
The European Democracy Action Plan aims at addressing the issue of political campaigning on the Internet, as well as calls for improving media literacy and protection of fair elections. Furthermore, it shall revise the Commission’s existing code of practice on disinformation. Besides, it is further discussing micro-targeting,
“Disinformation and fake news have been here with us since ever. Nowadays, however, the distribution channels are different. People can be targeted like never before, which raises serious concerns. Information bubbles have a negative impact on fair elections and our society,” says Kolaja.
“In the long run, it is important to increase the level of media literacy among citizens, teach them how to effectively recognize fake news, and be resilient to disinformation. On the other hand, the government can’t decide what is truth or lie. Otherwise, we would end up in an Orwellian world,” added Kolaja.
“Transparency in prioritization of content in our social network feed is key in addressing the issue of information bubbles. Additionally, citizens should be always able to opt-out from content prioritization,” stated Kolaja. “Finally, effective regulation of promoted content has to be put in place, which will introduce clear rules on advertising political content and ban micro-targeting,” concluded Kolaja.