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Washington AG files lawsuit against Facebook over its political ads

Washington AG files lawsuit against Facebook over its political ads

Washington state’s attorney general, Bob Ferguson has recently announced filling another lawsuit against Facebook over issues related to political ads. The attorney general alleges that the company has once again neglected the state’s campaign finance laws by not fulfilling necessary disclosures.

Facebook has reportedly reimbursed $238,000 to resolve its dispute against Washington state over political advertising in 2018.

As a result of its previous lawsuit, the social media giant had made it clear that it wouldn’t accept any political ads associated with local or state initiatives in Washington. However, it still allowed advertisers to run ads around “issues of federal importance” in the state.

According to a recent statement by Mr. Ferguson, Facebook has since then continued to sell hundreds and thousands of advertisements to almost 171 state political committees, which is a grave violation of its own guidelines.

He said that Facebook’s Ad Library, which is a searchable database focused on offering transparency on politically aligned advertising, offers limited information about political ads in Washington, but fails to include necessary details that were listed under Washington law like the precise cost of the advertisement or the name of the person paying.

Commenting on which, Facebook’s spokeswoman responded that the firm is determined to work with Washington’s authorities for clearing this dispute.

Social media firms are handing out detailed information about their political ads since the 2016 incident where the U.S. intelligence agencies discovered that Russian authorities had intervened with the US presidential elections by targeting American voters with specific social media content. However, Russia refuses to accept these allegations.

Meanwhile, other competitors like Twitter, Snapchat, and Google have introduced similar advertising libraries like Facebook’s ad library over the past few years. While Reddit is planning to reveal a new ad library project this week.

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Sunil Jha

Sunil Jha has been a part of the content industry for close to two years. Having previously worked as a voice over artist and sportswriter, he now focuses on writing articles for, across a slew of topics, ranging from technology to trade and finance. With a business-oriented educational background, Sunil brings forth the expertise of deep-dive research and a strategic approach in his write ups.