Ad transparency – what’s missing for 2024?
Has the DSA done anything for political ad transparency?
In 2024, there are a lot of elections. Billions of people will vote. And over the next 12 or so months, they’ll see hundreds of billions of impressions of online political ads. Some of those elections will be routine, straightforward and without controversy. The majority, when it comes to the number of voters, will not. […]
Transparency needs transcripts
Meta and Google have made some updates to their ad libraries in response to the demands of the new EU Digital Services Act. For Meta’s, it means you can see (and access via their API), with greater accuracy than before, the geographical, gender and age targeting of ads, as well as the exact breakdown of […]
Spain ‘23 – Digital Campaign Brief
With the arrival of TikTok’s new “commercial content library” (a.k.a ads + whatever influencers get paid to do library), the need for transcripts for video-based ads and captions for images to be provided as standard has never been more obvious. For researchers, processing video and images is hard. The files are large, processing them without […]
Google’s “election ads” Policy and Ad Library are a failure of transparency
Background In June, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez of PSOE called a snap general election for 23rd July, after a poor showing for his party in local and regional elections. He hopes to curtail the momentum of the rival Partido Popular (led by Núñez Feijóo), unite the left, and highlight concerns about the far right Vox […]
Will TikTok’s political ad ban help Trump become president again?
Google, like Meta and Snapchat, offers a political advertising library for the purposes of transparency. Their ad library launched in 2019, offering a listing of all “election ads” since. On paper, this sounds useful, potentially serving the two purposes of political ad transparency, namely 1) showing that bad actors aren’t abusing their systems and 2) […]
Twitter’s ad library to return? Political ads in today’s EU Code of Practice on Disinformation reports
In October 2019, TikTok banned political advertising on its services, preventing parties and candidates from reaching voters through paid content, even via influencer promotions. (1) On the face of it, a ban on political ads may seem like a good idea. With so many instances of campaigns misusing ads by spreading lies and abusing data […]
Donald Trump’s return to Facebook
This morning, signatories of the 2022 EU Code of Practice on Disinformation published their first reports under the new Code. The voluntary document, which was completed in June last year, signed platforms up to a range of measures designed to counter online disinformation, including commitments around improving the transparency of political advertising. The 20+ signatories […]
PATA – The Little Act That Could…
Meta will reinstate Donald Trump’s accounts in the next few days. Here are some of the implications of their decision, as we see them: 1/ He never truly went away. For the last two years, Meta has allowed the Trump campaign to run ads provided they weren’t from his account or using his tone or […]
ChatGPT and the future of political ads
The Platform Accountability and Transparency Act (PATA) is a bill drafted by a bipartisan group of US Senators to increase the transparency of social media data. Initially released as a discussion draft in December 2021, and formally introduced as a bill in December 2022, PATA contains several mechanisms designed to enable greater independent scrutiny of […]
With all the ChatGPT hype this week, it’s a good time to think about a prospective future for AI that has it producing deeply personalised information and communication. For political ads, a tool like ChatGPT could write and design (or film or assemble) thousands of variations of political ads based on desired topic, emotional pitch, […]