Honest Ads Bill Creates Online Political Ad Public File

20 October, 2017, 00:45 | Author: Pamela Mathis
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Republican Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) is teaming with Democratic Sens.

Sen. John McCain has joined two Democrats to introduce legislation Thursday to regulate social media platforms like Facebook that ran political ads placed by Russian-linked accounts during the 2016 election, according to a report.

Klobuchar said that "we all know that Russian threats to our national security don't always involve traditional weapons of war". "If a candidate or a cause buys an ad on TV, the same rules should apply if they buy it on Facebook or Google or on Twitter". Amy Klobuchar and Mark Warner to require disclosure of who's paying for online political ads, announcing he'll co-sponsor the bill.

"Ensuring transparency and accountability remain encoded into our democracy in the 21st century has taken on new importance and relevance in the wake of the 2016 election", said Alexander B. Howard, deputy director of the Sunlight Foundation, which has been a loud voice for campaign reforms, including heightened disclosures for political ads.

The legislation is an outgrowth of the congressional investigations into Russia's election meddling, which has taken a major interest in Russia's use of social media platforms. Warner is the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Lawmakers' focus on social media comes after Facebook, Twitter and Google owner Alphabet Inc. acknowledged Russian exploitation of their networks to spread propaganda and chaos.

The latest fury was ignited after Facebook said that some 10 million people had seen advertisements linked to Russian entities on its platform before and after the 2016 election. The Senate Intelligence Committee is planning a November 1 hearing on the issue, and has invited representatives from Facebook, Google, and Twitter to testify.

The House committee is working to release the Facebook ads publicly after the hearing.

And tech giants would lastly have to employ "reasonable efforts" to ensure that foreign governments and their agents - from Russian Federation or elsewhere - are not purchasing political ads on their platforms.

The $500 threshold is much lower than what was initially considered when the senators were drafting the bill.

The threshold was lowered because digital ads are much cheaper, Warner said.

This report comes after it was discovered that Russian Federation bought some 3,000 ads and cut Facebook a cheque for over $100,000 during the 2016 election. From Twitter, it'll be acting General Counsel Sean Edgett, a spokeswoman said.

The senators are introducing their bill with an eye toward getting new laws in place ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, warning that Russian Federation is poised to once again seek to meddle in the United States campaign.

Warner and Klobuchar said they were not certain about the bill's prospects in Congress but that they hoped to get something passed by early next year or to have the provisions attached to another piece of legislation. "I operate on what I believe in, and if people agree, then they agree". "The social media companies were frankly late to the game in acknowledging this problem, but I think they're moving in the right direction".



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