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Vlaams Belang and Gruen political ads on social media flirt with what is permissible in Europe

Vlaams Belang and Gruen political ads on social media flirt with what is permissible in Europe

However, the European Union has something similar to a digital services law, which prohibits targeting based on race. New, stricter rules regarding political advertising have also recently been adopted. “It clearly states that targeting on the basis of that ethnicity is no longer allowed,” says Vanden Eynde. Ethnicity refers to, among other things, religion, sexual orientation, ideology, philosophical orientation or belief.

The tightening of the Digital Services Law does not yet apply to these elections, but political parties should not hide behind this. “If you read a response from a political party that they would like Meta to tell them if something is not allowed, that’s a bit strange,” says Vanden Eynde.

“Can’t we assume that the political parties represented at the European level are aware of European legislation, how this European legislation was developed and what the purpose of those rules is?”

Vanden Eynde also finds it strange that parties target the public with advertisements that they believe are in their favour. “Isn’t the idea that parties are not busy ‘evangelizing to converts’, but rather trying to convince those who are not yet convinced of their ideas? Because that means an interesting discussion can eventually arise.”

“Because of this difference in opinions, the discussion becomes interesting, and you may be able to persuade people,” says Vanden Eende.

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