Seattle says Facebook is violating law about election ads

Seattle says Facebook is violating law about election ads

Fb is violating a Seattle legislation that requires the corporate to disclose who pays for political promoting on its influential social media platform, the town’s elections watchdog mentioned Monday.

The rebuke comes after the web big had promised federal authorities that it could be extra forthcoming in regards to the cash behind political advertisements.

Wayne Barnett, govt director of the Seattle Ethics and Elections Fee, mentioned in a press release that Fb had failed to offer enough element about its advertisers’ spending within the 2017 metropolis elections.

There was a high-profile mayor’s race in Seattle final yr, two Metropolis Council contests and different points earlier than voters. The fee says greater than $four.eight million was donated to candidates and causes throughout the election.

Will Castleberry, Fb’s vice chairman for state and native public coverage, mentioned the corporate believed it had adopted the legislation.

“Fb is a robust supporter of transparency in political promoting,” he mentioned in a press release. “In response to a request from the Seattle Ethics and Elections Fee, we have been in a position to present related info.”

Fb gave the elections fee a two-page spreadsheet that “doesn’t come near assembly their public obligation,” Barnett mentioned.

“We gave Fb ample time to adjust to the legislation,” the ethics official mentioned. “I’ll be discussing our subsequent steps this week with the town lawyer’s workplace.”

He mentioned Fb might face fines of as much as $5,000 per promoting purchase over legal guidelines in Seattle and Washington state that require entities that settle for political promoting to be clear in regards to the “precise nature and extent of the promoting providers.”

In September, after prodding from Congress, Fb CEO Mark Zuckerberg mentioned the corporate would require disclosure about who funded political advertisements, just like what tv broadcasters have to supply.

The corporate gave congressional investigators hundreds of advertisements purchased by a Russian company as a part of the probe into Russian interference in U.S. elections.