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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies next week. Photo: Paul Marotta/Getty Images

Facebook said Friday it was supporting a bill that increases disclosure requirements for online political ads.

Why it matters: It’s the first time the company has endorsed a specific form of regulation of its platform, and it comes as founder Mark Zuckerberg prepares to face irate lawmakers on Capitol Hill next week. As recently as last week, company officials were dodging whether they supported the bill.

The details:

  • The bill, called The Honest Ads Act, was introduced in October by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.).
  • Ad exec Rob Leathern wouldn’t say whether he would endorse the act just a week ago on a call with reporters.
  • But on Friday, Zuckerberg said in a post that election "interference is a problem that's bigger than any one platform, and that's why we support the Honest Ads Act. This will help raise the bar for all political advertising online."

The impact: Facebook's support of the bill is politically advantageous — its competitors haven't backed the bill — but the legislation doesn't yet have the momentum to pass.

Other updates:

  • Facebook says it plans to release its highly-anticipated public, searchable political ads archive in the U.S. in June. (The company is currently testing a feature in Canada that lets users see ads being run by a specific page.)
  • The company also says that moving forward, only authorized advertisers, who can confirm their identity and location, will be able to run "issue ads," or ads that advocate for a certain political cause. It also says people who manage Pages with large numbers of followers will need to be verified.

In a twist, the company said it would be applying some of these efforts to Instagram as well.

This story has been corrected to reflect that previous comments about the Honest Ads Act were made by Rob Leathern, not Rob Goldman, and the precise nature of the feature being tested in Canada.

Go deeper

Chauvin defense closing: "Does not have to prove his innocence"

Chauvin's defense attorney Eric Nelson opened his closing argument on Monday by reminding the jury that Derek Chauvin "does not have to prove his innocence."

Why it matters: The jury's verdict in Chauvin's murder trial is seen by advocates as one of the most crucial civil rights cases in decades.

Merrick Garland: Domestic terror is "still with us"

Photo: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In his first major speech, Attorney General Merrick Garland warned the nation Monday to remain vigilant against the rising threat of domestic extremism.

Why it matters: Domestic terrorism poses an "elevated threat" to the nation this year, according to U.S. intelligence. Garland has already pledged to crack down on violence linked to white supremacists and right-wing militia groups.