Legal and political experts are calling on the Australian government to launch an inquiry into misleading and deceptive political advertising.
The calls come in the wake of the recent Federal election which saw fringe groups promoting false and misleading claims on social media, which were then amplified by major parties.
One incident saw signs made to look like official Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) signs directing Chinese voters on the “correct” way to vote, by placing a vote for the Liberal party.
Australia does not currently have truth in advertising laws and the AEC is powerless to act unless a political party “mislead or deceive an elector in relation to the casting of a vote”.
Integrity campaigners are calling for a government inquiry to examine how truth in political advertising laws could be implemented in a constitutional and fair manner.
The recent federal election saw parties invest significant advertising spend into campaigning, including the United Australia party which spent $60m discrediting the Labour Party and has been credited with contributing to the parties defeat.