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Government taking decisive action on online political advertising – Naughton

5th November 2019 - Hildegarde Naughton TD

THE Government has shown its intent to take political interference on social media seriously after Cabinet approved a proposal to regulate online political advertising, a Fine Gael TD has said.


Deputy Hildegarde Naughton, who is Chair of the Communications Committee, said online political advertising should be as clear as possible as to where it originates from and who the target audience is.


“This is a very positive development coming from Government given that the International Grand Committee meets in Dublin this Thursday,” she said.


The Galway West TD is chair of the International Grand Committee and has previously told Facebook chief, Mark Zuckerberg of major concerns in Ireland regarding social media and how it cannot be left to social media companies to regulate the sphere.


“The communications committee has previously advocated for the regulation of social media and the power to take down harmful content. Subsequently, the Government agreed to this and will introduce a Digital Safety Commissioner,” Deputy Naughton said.


 “The focus of us, as legislators, must be on combatting fake news and election interference. That is why the decision by cabinet is crucial and I look forward to discussing this at the committee,” she added.


“The legislation, that the Fine Gael Government have set about working on, will apply to online platforms, as sellers or intermediaries of political advertising, and buyers of political adverts.


“The obligation will be placed on the seller to determine that an advert falls under the scope of the regulation.


“Online paid-for political advertisement will be required to be labelled as such and clearly display certain information, or a link to the information, in a clear and conspicuous manner,” Deputy Naughton said.

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