How to correctly identify political ads (while acknowledging you can’t)

A question that’s asked a lot, particularly as discussions about how to regulate political ads rumble on, is “how should we decide what is – and isn’t – a political ad?” The answer matters because legislators and regulators – rightly – want to impose some costs on political ads in the name of trust and […]

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Thoughts on the UK Elections Bill

The UK Government has published a new Elections Bill. It has some good and important things in it, particularly with regard to digital ads, and some controversial and bad ones too. First thing to say is it contains a useful transparency measure – digital imprints. It’s good that paid digital election material will finally be […]

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On the proposed “Social Media Disclosure and Transparency of Advertisements (DATA) Act” (and how it could be better)

There’s new legislation being proposed in the US by Congresswoman Lori Trahan to increase advertising transparency.  It has lots of good things in it, including: Specific definitions of the data that should be disclosed, including targeting and engagement Development of common standards across platforms for disclosure Oversight of how it’s implemented If we ever wrote […]

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Oversight boards for everything

How do you break a big problem – oversight of the big social media platforms – into a series of smaller, more manageable ones?

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A Goldilocks Zone for political ads

Around many stars there is a so-called “goldilocks zone” where the temperature is just right for a planet to enjoy liquid water, and (perhaps) to support life. We think political advertising on social media also has a goldilocks zone. If you allow too many ads, you give unscrupulous campaigns the ability to microtarget voters, tell […]

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