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Political advertising rules fail to stop personalised manipulation of elections and referendums

European Parliament Freedom, democracy and transparency Media reports

The rules on political advertising proposed today by the Commission fail to stop the manipulation of elections by way of personalised targeting, criticises Patrick Breyer, the LIBE Committee‘s rapporteur for the Digital Services Act. Exceptions in the proposed rules would allow the Internet giants to keep using opt-in clauses, warns Breyer:

„The Commission fails to heed the LIBE Committee‘s call for banning the personalised targeting of political messages. The personalised manipulation of elections and referendums by exploiting the user‘s individual preferences and fears is a special class of online threat because it influences the core mechanisms that enable the functioning of our democratic society. Has the Commission forgotten about Cambridge Analytica and the surprise election of Trump for President? The integrity of elections and referendums is of general interest and cannot be subject to individual choices. The targeting of individuals based on their personality, including their behaviour, needs to be banned!“