Google bans political ads . . .
Ahead of Taiwan’s presidential and legislative elections in January 2020, Google announced last week it is banning local parties’ and candidates’ campaign ads on its online advertising platform. The ban, which started on November 17, will last until January 17, 2020, six days after Taiwanese voters head to the polls. While both of Taiwan’s presidential candidates have welcomed the news, the decision to ban election-period political ads is not a first for the global tech giant. During the October Canadian federal election, Google also banned political advertising on its ad platform.
Facebook introduces new rules . . .
Facebook, meanwhile, announced in early November that it will continue to feature paid political ads on its platform, provided the ads don’t threaten the “fairness and integrity of the election.” As a preventive measure, the social media company introduced new transparency rules requiring political ads be funded only by Taiwanese accounts using Taiwanese currency, and advertisers disclose their source of funding. Earlier this year, Facebook deleted several accounts promoting false information about anti-government protests in Hong Kong and found some of them to be connected to the Chinese government.
Concern over Chinese meddling swirls . . .
After a Chinese aircraft carrier sailed through the strategically sensitive Taiwan Strait on Monday, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen criticized Beijing for using “every means it can” to interfere with Taiwan’s election. The accusation followed China unveiling “26 measures” for Taiwan earlier this month, a series of policies intended to lure more Taiwanese citizens and companies to work and operate in China. An estimated one million Taiwanese people currently live in the People’s Republic of China. Concerns over Taiwan’s election integrity by both private entities and the government underscores not only the island’s geopolitical vulnerability vis-à-vis China, but also the rising incidence of misinformation in elections across the globe.
- Focus Taiwan: Google bans campaign ads ahead of 2020 election
- Taiwan News: Facebook to disclose political ad sponsors as Taiwan elections near
- South China Morning Post: Taiwan security officials step up monitoring over election meddling fears