Facebook urged to offer an API for political ad transparency research

Facebook has been called upon to provide good faith researchers with an API to enable them to study how political ads are spreading and being amplified on its platform. A coalition of European academics, technologists and human and digital rights groups, led by Mozilla, has signed an open letter to the company demanding far greater […]

Facebook, Google and Twitter told to do more to fight fake news ahead of European elections

A first batch of monthly progress reports from tech giants and advertising companies on what they’re doing to help fight online disinformation have been published by the European Commission. Platforms including Facebook, Google and Twitter signed up to a voluntary EU code of practice on the issue last year. The first reports cover measures taken […]

Facebook is launching political ad checks in Nigeria, Ukraine, EU and India in coming months

Facebook is launching some of its self-styled ‘election security’ initiatives into more markets in the coming months ahead of several major votes in countries around the world. In an interview with Reuters the social networking giant confirmed it’s launching checks on political adverts on its platform in Nigeria, Ukraine and the European Union, reiterating too that […]

Google lays outs narrow “EU election advertiser” policy ahead of 2019 vote

Google has announced its plan for combating election interference in the European Union, ahead of elections next May when up to 350 million voters across the region will vote to elect 705 Members of the European Parliament. In a blog post laying out a narrow approach to democracy-denting disinformation, Google says it will introduce a […]

Facebook under pressure over Soros smear tactics

Facebook is facing calls to conduct an external investigation into its own lobbying and PR activities by an aide to billionaire George Soros. BuzzFeed reports that Michael Vachon, an advisor to the chairman at Soros Fund Management, made the call in a letter to friends and colleagues. The call follows an explosive investigation, published yesterday […]

Where’s the accountability Facebook?

Facebook has yet again declined an invitation for its founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to answer international politicians’ questions about how disinformation spreads on his platform and undermines democratic processes. But policymakers aren’t giving up — and have upped the ante by issuing a fresh invitation signed by representatives from another three national parliaments. So […]

Big tech must not reframe digital ethics in its image

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s visage loomed large over the European parliament this week, both literally and figuratively, as global privacy regulators gathered in Brussels to interrogate the human impacts of technologies that derive their power and persuasiveness from our data. The eponymous social network has been at the center of a privacy storm this year. And […]

Europe’s parliament calls for full audit of Facebook in wake of breach scandal

The European Parliament has called for a full audit of Facebook following a string of data breach scandals —  including the Cambridge Analytica affair. MEPs are urging the company to allow European Union bodies to carry out a full audit to assess data protection and security of users’ personal data, following the scandal in which […]

Apple’s Tim Cook makes blistering attack on the ‘data industrial complex’

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has joined the chorus of voices warning that data itself is being weaponized against people and societies — arguing that the trade in digital data has exploded into a “data industrial complex”. Cook did not namecheck the adtech elephants in the room: Google, Facebook and other background data brokers that profit […]

Tech and ad giants sign up to Europe’s first weak bite at ‘fake news’

The European Union’s executive body has signed up tech platforms and ad industry players to a voluntary  Code of Practice aimed at trying to do something about the spread of disinformation online. Something, just not anything too specifically quantifiable. According to the Commission, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Mozilla, some additional members of the EDIMA trade association, […]