THE EUROPEAN Union has cited ‘dirty methods’ used during Britain’s Brexit referendum as a motive to roll in new laws on election funding and online campaigning.
Vera Jourova, the EU Commission’s Vice President, said that the EU’s rules on election campaigning and funding are in need of an update to adapt to the internet age. She said she was dissatisfied with the engagement levels of tech companies like Facebook on this issue, calling for laws to become more clear regarding the responsibility of large platforms over their content.
The proposed new laws want users to be fully informed as to why they are being targeted by certain ads online, and who or what is paying for them. Jourova said that the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which a UK company carried out mass ‘micro-targeting and psychological profiling’ on British voters during Brexit, was an ‘eye-opening moment for all of us’. She said that the EU does ‘not want elections to be a competition of dirty methods’, also pointing to the now infamous Vote Leave bus that promised £350 million to the NHS if Britain left the EU.
‘What we saw was the fake news of saying we will not be paying money to the EU but paying to the national health system,’ said Jourova, ‘It was proven not to be true and it influenced the will of the people to a large extent’.
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