Nov 9, 2017

Twitter and Facebook to weigh in on new ad disclosures

Kim Hart, author of Cities

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.

Go deeper

The business of tear gas

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

U.S. forces yesterday used tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House gates, prior to a declared curfew, clearing a path for President Trump to visit a riot-damaged church for a photo opportunity.

The state of play: Two of the largest U.S. producers of tear gas are owned by private equity firms, but those firms have no interest in discussing their ownership.

Exclusive: Washington Post makes major move into local news

People entering the Washington Post building in D.C. in 2019. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The Washington Post has signed all 30 of McClatchy's local news outlets to its Zeus Performance product, a software that gives sites better speed, ad view-ability and performance, executives tell Axios.

Why it matters: By adding more local news outlets, The Post can start to build a local news ecosystem within its tech stack.

Biden: George Floyd's last words are "a wake-up call for our nation"

Former Vice President Joe Biden meets with clergy members and community activists during a visit to Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Del. on June 1, 2020. Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden will call George Floyd’s dying words “a wake-up call for our nation,” and criticize President Trump’s decision to unleash tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House, in a civil rights speech from Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Biden in the address will seek to draw a sharp contrast between himself and Trump, whose first remarks addressing nationwide unrest Monday highlighted law and order, extreme demonstrations of militarized “strength” and other blustery threats.