Dear Mr. Lambe,
In light of the upcoming referendum on the 8th amendment to the Irish constitution, we are writing to request that Facebook immediately roll out its recently developed transparency features on political advertising.
Recent months have seen escalating revelations on the extent to which social media platforms such as Facebook have served to facilitate inappropriate intervention in the democratic process. It is clear that greatly strengthened legislative and regulatory oversight is needed and that is something we as legislators are committed to delivering. However, we note that Facebook has also committed to urgently revise and improve its own processes. At the US Senate hearing earlier this week Mr Zuckerberg stated that his priority for 2018 is to prevent interference in five national elections taking place this year. The forthcoming referendum in Ireland must be afforded equal priority.
This referendum should not become another bad example of inappropriate intervention in the political process but should instead serve as an opportunity to pilot new and better standards. It is imperative that Facebook guarantee transparency around any political advertisements targeted at Irish voters between now and May 25th, including transparency around the persons or organisations paying for the promotion of such content.
We look forward to your response and hope you will be able to deliver the assurances and accelerated action that we seek.
Senator Alice-Mary Higgins, Senator Colette Kelleher, Senator Lynn Ruane - Civil Engagement Group
Senator Grace O'Sullivan, Deputy Eamon Ryan - The Green Party
Deputy Catherine Murphy - Social Democrats