Seattle’s election authority said on Monday that Facebook Inc is in violation of a city law that requires disclosure of who buys election ads, the first attempt of its kind to regulate U.S. political ads on the internet. Facebook must disclose details about spending in last year’s Seattle city elections or face penalties, Wayne Barnett, executive director of the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, said in a statement. The penalties could be up to $5,000 per advertising buy, Barnett said, adding that he would discuss next steps this week with Seattle’s city attorney. It was not immediately clear how Facebook would respond if penalized. Facebook said in a statement it had sent the commission some data.
“Facebook is a strong supporter of transparency in political advertising. In response to a request from the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission we were able to provide relevant information,” said Will Castleberry, a Facebook vice president.
Barnett said Facebook’s response “doesn’t come close to meeting their public obligation.” The company provided partial spending numbers, but not copies of ads or data about whom they targeted.
Full Article: Seattle says Facebook is violating city campaign finance law.