On Tuesday Bob Ferguson Washington state Attorney General informed that finally Facebook and Google have agreed mutually to pay $455,000 for settling all the allegations they did not keep any records of who was actually paying for all the ads campaign on their sites. He also mentioned that the companies failed to maintain those kinds of records.
“Whether you are a small-town newspaper or a large corporation, Washington’s political advertising disclosure laws apply to everyone,” Bob Ferguson stated.
He also mentioned that in response to the two of the lawsuits which were filed in the month of June which accused the tech firms of not obeying all state law and the transparency of the political-ad Facebook will be paying $238,000 which almost 1.7 crores and Google will be paying $217,000 which is almost 1.5 crore.
“We’re working hard to protect election integrity and prevent foreign interference. We believe all ads should be transparent on Facebook and aren’t waiting for legislation to authorize political advertisers and house these ads in a public archive”, said the spokeswoman of Facebook Beth Gautier.
Google stated that ” the company complied with Washington laws until June, when the state introduced new disclosure requirements, accepting election advertising in the state because it was unable to follow the new rules”.
“We’ve rolled out several features this year to ensure transparency in US federal elections and we are looking at ways to bring these tools to the state level as well”, the company added.
All the commercial advertisers are supposed to provide all the requested information by the public but as per the information was given by state Google and Facebook denied the municipal election political advertising records to The Stranger newspaper.
But still, there are no statements from Facebook or Google accepting that they broke the law.
These lawsuits came after the regulations related to a new law was issued by the state’s Public Disclosure Commission, it also passed an emergency rule which clarified that the digital ad companies like Facebook and Google are subject to state law i.e Washington State violation requiring them to maintain information available publically about political ads, just like all the media and television stations.