Tuesday 21 November 2017

If we can't see Facebook ads, how can we challenge them?

Online advertising paid for by foreign sources has the potential to undermine debate in our democracy

The Leave side in the Brexit referendum reckon it was the Facebook ads that swung the result for them.. (Stock picture)
The Leave side in the Brexit referendum reckon it was the Facebook ads that swung the result for them.. (Stock picture)

Eoin O'Malley

In the summer of 1994 I found myself somewhere in rural west Limerick, canvassing for my father's failed attempt to get elected to the European parliament.

I canvassed a lady with an English accent, and clothes that marked her out as 'alternative'. She asked about the candidate's opinion on hare coursing, an issue that was current, but not one I knew much about. It didn't come up in our usual haunts in Limerick city. I didn't even know what my father's views were - but I was pretty sure I knew hers.

I exclaimed that I found hare coursing a horrific excuse for a sport, leaving her satisfied.

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