Here's What the Senate Bill Regulating Online Political Ads Looks Like
- Author: Stacy Houston Oct 20, 2017,
Oct 20, 2017, 0:48
This bill would close those loopholes by demanding that online and social media companies make and retain copies of all political ads run on their networks, and make them available to the public. Facebook and Google in particular are facing fierce pushback following disclosures that Kremlin-linked groups used online ad platforms to try to disrupt the 2016 election, and this week, Democratic Senators Mark Warner (who is helping lead the Senate's Russian Federation investigation) and Amy Klobuchar introduced the Honest Ads Act, which imposes strict rules on the disclosures online platforms make when serving up political ads.
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.
Warner has said that the ads Facebook disclosed were just the "tip of the iceberg" of Russia's election interference via social media, and he's slammed Twitter for the limited scope of its internal investigation into the matter.
Tech companies have been resistant to past attempts to regulate them, and Warner previously has been critical of social media platforms' slowness to cooperate with the Russian Federation investigation underway at Senate Intelligence Committee, which he vice-chairs. The Senate Intelligence Committee is planning a November 1 hearing on the issue, and has invited representatives from Facebook, Google, and Twitter to testify.
And within Congress, the bill might struggle to advance. Twitter, Pinterest, and Google also found Russian-linked political ads or posts.
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The province is dominated by jihadist groups and Mr Erdogan has said he will not allow a "terror corridor" on the Turkish border. The move follows talks which took place in Astana and brokered deals aiming at ending the Syrian conflict. (2017).
The threshold was lowered because digital ads are much cheaper, Warner said.
"I think that they got the message", Warner said. He argued that the bill introduced Thursday was a "light touch" approach to regulating the social media companies.
"I have a hard time understanding how you do legislation on social media platforms before you have them in for a hearing", Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, a Republican, told CNN on Thursday. The company's high-profile Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg will not appear.
His knowledge of the Washington landscape helped him negotiate a 2011 settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, which had charged Facebook with deceiving consumers about whether it would keep their data private.
It is illegal for foreign entities to make contributions in United States elections, but a lack of rules around online political advertising means the Russian ad activity could go mostly undetected. According to Facebook, someone buying an ad for $33 - the average cost suggested by the $100,000 the Russians spent on roughly 3,000 ads - could expect to reach between 11,000-63,000 users in one day. Even as they skewered Facebook for being "dismissive" early on and Twitter for essentially copying Facebook's homework in its report to Congress a few weeks ago, the lawmakers appeared hopeful that cooperation would only improve as the depth of Russian election interference becomes more widely understood.