A recent report from The Stranger alleges that Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed suit against Facebook for violation of state campaign finance laws. According to Ferguson, Facebook has “repeatedly and openly violated” Washington state law related to the disclosure of who funds political ads.
According to a report from The Stranger titled “Washington State Sues Facebook for “Repeatedly” Violating Campaign Finance Law,” Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed suit against Facebook, claiming that the social media giant has “repeatedly and openly violated” state campaign finance law by failing to disclose details about the funding of local political ads that targeted Washington state’s elections in 2019.
Since the 1970s, Washington state has required all political ad-sellers to make significant disclosures about the financing of paid messages intended to sway voters in local elections. Ferguson argues that Facebook is “intentionally” breaking this law, stating: “Whether you’re a tech giant or a small newspaper, those who sell political ads must follow our campaign finance law. Washingtonians have a right to know who’s behind the ads seeking to influence their vote.”
Washington state sued Facebook in 2018 for campaign finance law violations. The new charges allege that Mark Zuckerberg’s company has not changed its ways.
The Stranger writes:
The terms of that settlement did not require Facebook to admit guilt, but Ferguson warned that the company needed to start complying with Washington state disclosure law right away or else “they’re going to hear from us again.”
He noted that he pays special attention to cases involving repeat offenders.
“Facebook subsequently announced a new policy that it would no longer sell Washington state political ads,” the AG’s office said in a statement today, explaining the background for the new lawsuit.
The Attorney General claims that Facebook was paid at least $500,000 for ads it sold to more than 170 different political committees that have targeted Washington state’s elections since November 2018 despite Facebook’s ban on that type of advertisement. Ferguson is arguing that Facebook “intentionally” violated Washington state law which would allow for the tripling o any fines a judge may impose on the company.
Read the full report at The Stranger here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org