NEWS FROM THE OPEN KNOWLEDGE FOUNDATION
FACEBOOK SHOULD SUSPEND POLITICAL ADS FOR UK GENERAL ELECTION
Facebook has been challenged to introduce a ‘moratorium’ on political adverts in the UK for the duration of the General Election campaign to tackle the spread of disinformation.
The call comes after Twitter banned political adverts worldwide, and amid growing concerns about Facebook's lack of openness.
The Open Knowledge Foundation has joined with other organisations to sign an open letter calling on Facebook to suspend political and issue-based advertising until the conclusion of the election.
The House of Lords Democracy and Digital Technologies Committee chair, David Puttnam, has also warned that UK electoral law has ‘failed to keep pace with technological change’.
Facebook has already removed an advert from a UK tax campaign group for breaking its rules on political advertising. But the 'Fair Tax Campaign' will be able to switch the ad back on if it registers and inserts a ‘paid for by’ disclaimer.
Catherine Stihler, chief executive of the Open Knowledge Foundation, said:
“Electoral law in the UK hasn’t kept up with the need to tackle the spread of disinformation and ‘fake news’ online.
“To build a fair, free and open future we will need to take regulatory action to increase transparency, but there clearly isn’t time ahead of this year’s UK General Election.
“That’s why Facebook should do the right thing and introduce an immediate moratorium on political adverts for the duration of the campaign.
“This election is too important to be blighted by disinformation, and social media giants need to take greater responsibility for the political ads they receive cash for posting.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Open letter: https://foundation.mozilla.org/en/campaigns/uk-ad-moratorium/
Comment from David Puttnam: https://twitter.com/hldemodigital/status/1191401182494908416?s=21
Facebook removes advert: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-50296664
Contact: Alan Roden at firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0)7753 904 531
ABOUT OPEN KNOWLEDGE FOUNDATION
Our vision is for a future that is fair, free and open. Our mission is to create a more open world – a world where all non-personal information is open, free for everyone to use, build on and share; and creators and innovators are fairly recognised and rewarded.
Open knowledge is any content, information or data that people are free to use, re-use and redistribute without any legal, technological or social restriction.
The Open Knowledge Foundation helps governments, universities, and civil society organisations by providing them with skills and tools to publish, use, and understand data.
Read more here: https://okfn.org
The Open Knowledge Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation. It is incorporated in England & Wales as a company limited by guarantee, with company number 05133759. Registered office address: 86 - 90 Paul Street, London EC2A 4NE, UK.