U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, and Mark Warner, D-Virginia, introduced a bill that would make political ads on platforms such as Facebook and Google transparent like those on TV and radio stations, reports Adweek, which added that “the Honest Ads Act, co-sponsored by Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, would require companies with more than 50 million monthly users to maintain a public database containing information about all ads bought by anyone spending more than $500 in a year. The record would include a variety of info: a digital copy of the ad, a description of the targeted audience, the average rate charged for the ad, the name of the candidate or issue the ad refers to and contact info for the buyer. Companies that don’t comply would be subject to penalties by the Federal Elections Commission.

“At a news conference announcing the bill, Klobuchar and Warner said the legislation is needed to update election laws for the digital era, pointing out that a majority of the $1.4 billion spent on online ads went to Google and Facebook. The bill is also in response to the recent revelation that Russian accounts bought ads on a number of platforms including Facebook and Twitter that were seen by millions of people before and after the 2016 presidential election.

“While tech companies have opposed regulation in the past, Klobuchar said the Russian meddling has prompted some major tech companies to realize that “we’re in a whole different area.””

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.