Corruption, Internet, Latvia, Legislation, Technology

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 19.04.2019, 05:50

Facebook promised to help ensure transparency of elections in Latvia

BC, Riga, 13.04.2018.Print version
Ensuring transparency of elections is one of Facebook’s top priorities, Jekabs Straume, the head of the Latvian Corruption Prevention Burau (KNAB) said following a meeting with the social network’s representatives today, reports LETA.

The KNAB chief said that the meeting with Facebook representatives had been successful as the company’s representatives demonstrated openness for cooperation. The next meeting between KNAB and Facebook representatives is planned in May, but a new meeting can be arranged at any time, as this is a matter of just one “phone call, email or a videoconference,” Straume said.

Straume did not elaborate on the promises received from the Facebook representatives, saying that it was “impossible to discuss everything in an hour”. The KNAB chief added that specific solutions would be discussed already at the next meeting but declined to comment on them.

Straume underlined that blocking Facebook in Latvia was no longer being considered.

Asked what KNAB expects of Facebook, Straume said the Latvian anti-corruption bureau wanted to receive information on who pays for campaign advertising on the social network. Straume also was optimistic about possibilities to suspend election campaigns that have violated the law on campaigning.

Straume praised Facebook as a positive example, noting that communication with other social networks like Twitter has not been so successful.

The KNAB chief said that Latvia’s situation is not unique and that Facebook has had to deal with similar issues also in other countries, for instance, Hungary.

As reported, KNAB has contacted the world’s largest social network companies to discuss paid political advertising and campaigning on the Internet. KNAB called on owners of Google, Youtube, Facebook, as well as VKontakte and Odnoklassniki to cooperate with the Latvian anti-corruption agency.

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