Much like with the US elections, Google is gearing up to support EU voters with the information they’ll need to vote in the European Parliament elections in May next year.
Most importantly, Google will help users know who is funding the ads they are seeing (for ads which are purchased on Google’s ad networks), the firm will vet ads which purport to be from candidates or officeholders and display information to help viewers make that choice.
“To bring people more information about the election ads they see across Google’s ad networks, we’ll require that ads that mention a political party, candidate or current officeholder make it clear to voters who’s paying for the advertising,” Google’s Liu Junius Director, EU Public Policy and Government reaction explained, “We’ll also introduce a new process to verify EU election advertisers to make sure they are who they say they are. And there’s more to come: we’ll introduce an EU-specific Election Ads Transparency Report and searchable ad library to provide more information about who is purchasing election ads, whom they’re targeted to, and how much money is being spent.”
In addition to that, Google will launch a program similar to Microsoft’s Defending Democracy program where they offer security training to groups which face increased risks of phishing; They will also collaborate with new organisations across the 27 EU countries to help “support online fact checking” and work with journalists to tackle disinformation.
“Like others, we’re thinking hard about elections and how we continue to support democratic processes around the world,” Google wrote.