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Regulation of Online Political Advertising Open Policy Forum

Representatives from industry, academia, political parties, the media, and civil society came together today for the first Open Policy Forum on the regulation of online political advertising. in Dublin Castle today.
The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton, officially opened the Forum, saying:

The integrity of our electoral process is of paramount importance to the Government and to all citizens.  I welcome today’s forum as an important contribution to protecting our democratic processes in an online world. 

Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform, John Paul Phelan, said:

The use of disinformation can erode confidence in democratic institutions as well as in traditional media and, ultimately, may adversely impact upon the ability of the electorate to make informed decisions in the absence of trusted sources of information.  

However, the Minister noted that regulating in this technically and legally complex area will present a number of particular challenges which will need to be fully and comprehensively addressed if there is a consensus to provide for transparency in online political advertising by law rather than pursue the development of voluntary industry-led agreements.

Participants at the forum discussed a range of important issues including advertising in the political or electoral sphere; freedom of expression, current regulatory frameworks and comparative approaches to regulation and online communications and advertising