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JagoK12 karma

In short, no. What happened after GDPR (Europe's new privacy standards) came into effect in May, 2018 was that the UK's political parties went out and collected everyone's information again. Why? So that they could actively target people using their online data.

The country's privacy agency came out with a report criticizing these data-collection practices (it's worth a read, here https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/consultations/2615563/guidance-on-political-campaigning-draft-framework-code-for-consultation.pdf) but they can't move on that without UK lawmakers overhauling local election rules.

Right now, political parties can be fined like private companies when they misuse people's data. But any investigation would take months, if not years, to complete. And by the time that's happened, the election would be over, so any effect on bad behavior would be minimal.

JagoK7 karma

It's a big issue in the UK election. These groups (many of which are tangentially linked to the traditional political parties) represent roughly two-thirds of all the political ad spending on Facebook since the beginning of the election, so it's a big chunk of change we're talking about here.

The problem is that there's little oversight of these groups (they're supposed to register with UK authorities, but many don't). Often, they don't disclose whose behind them (either on their Facebook pages or websites), and it's almost impossible to really know where their funding is coming front, other than trolling through their corporate records, if they have them.

Other countries like Canada have significantly curtailed the ability for third-party groups to participate in elections, mostly by limiting how much money they can spend on social media ads. That hasn't happen in the UK, and it's a troubling trend.

You can find some more information on third-party spending here.

JagoK5 karma

It's a tough one to answer. Right now, most officials and regulators (both in the UK and elsewhere) are relying heavily on the social media companies to give them any insight into how technology -- be it social media ads, crowdsourcing political funding or other areas -- is affecting elections.

That's something, to be fair, that the tech companies aren't the biggest fan of. In part, that's because they want such decisions to be made by governments, and not them. But it's also a question of tech companies not wanting to be held responsible for how their tech may, or may not, be used to influence the outcome of an election.

JagoK5 karma

Morning all. The UK election is only four days away, and the final big push on Facebook political ads (Facebook is where most of this type of politicking takes place) has already started.

After holding back during the last month, the Conservatives are now the biggest spenders (for December 8, the latest day available within Facebook's ad transparency tool) with £4,506.

In comparison, the Brexit Party (which had similarly held back in recent weeks) is second, but only spent £548 yesterday - so not really in the same ballpark. Labour comes third, with just £498 in spending, while the Liberal Democrats -- the party that has spent the most on social media ads since the beginning of the election - doled out just £50 yesterday.

What does this tell us? That in the final days before Thursday's vote, the Conservatives are finally ratcheting up their spending to woo supporters, while the other parties - so far - are holding back a little to likely make a final push in the final days.

There's lots going on. What's on your mind?

JagoK4 karma

Hi all (and especially u/potatolulz u/memetrollsXD and u/Maragil), seeing lots of questions about my lunchtime food habits. Personally, I'm a big fan of a sandwich (any sandwich, frankly). And don't forget coffee. The more, the merrier!