Nov 9, 2017 - Economy

Twitter and Facebook to weigh in on new ad disclosures

Examples of Russian-bought political ads that ran on Facebook platforms in 2016. Photo: Jon Elswick / AP

Twitter and Facebook tell us they plan to submit written comments on political ad disclosures to the Federal Elections Commission to inform a formal proposal on internet disclaimers. The open comment period ends today, and the FEC will make the comments public shortly thereafter. Google declined to say whether it would submit comments.

Why it matters: During testimony on Russian election meddling on Capitol Hill last week, Google, Twitter and Facebook all committed to working with regulators on crafting new online political ad disclosure rules. Proposed legislation would require all political ads running online to disclose who is paying for the ads, similar to the requirements for political ads running on TV and radio.

Public pressure: FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub sent letters to the CEOs of the companies this week asking for their feedback on practical solutions. "Given the prominence of Google in the public discourse of this nation, it is important that the Federal Election Commission hear from you," she wrote in the letter to Larry Page.

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