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Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson. Photo: Karen Ducey/Getty Images

The state of Washington sued Facebook on Tuesday, saying that the social network continues to sell political advertising in the state despite an agreement not to do so.

Why it matters: While Facebook continues to accept political advertising in most places, it had said it would stop selling such ads in Washington rather than comply with the state's strict disclosure law.

Details: Washington has a law that requires companies that sell political ads in the state to keep a variety of information on each ad, including the candidate or measure in question, who paid for the ad, the name and address of the advertising's sponsor, and the total cost of the advertising.

  • According to the lawsuit, which was posted on Seattle-area tech news site GeekWire, Washington claims Facebook sold ads to at least 171 political committees in Washington state, generating at least $525,000 in revenue.
  • For its part, Facebook said its policies prohibit ads targeted to users in Washington state that relate to state or local issues and candidates and expressed hope that it can resolve the issue.

History lesson: Facebook settled a previous lawsuit in 2018, agreeing to pay a $238,000 fine. Washington also settled a separate suit with Google around the same time.

  • Facebook has been criticized since for not properly enforcing its ban, such as in last year's Seattle City Council race, where one candidate managed to place Facebook ads while at least one of her opponents was blocked from doing so.

Go deeper: Facebook and Google's past show banning political ads is hard work

Go deeper

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The winners and losers of the pandemic holiday season

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic has upended Thanksgiving and the shopping season that the holiday kicks off, creating a new crop of economic winners and losers.

The big picture: Just as it has exacerbated inequality in every other facet of American life, the coronavirus pandemic is deepening inequities in the business world, with the biggest and most powerful companies rapidly outpacing the smaller players.

Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

The daily rate of new coronavirus infections rose by about 10 percent in the final week before Thanksgiving, continuing a dismal trend that may get even worse in the weeks to come.

Why it matters: Travel and large holiday celebrations are most dangerous in places where the virus is spreading widely — and right now, that includes the entire U.S.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions previously imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds the first significant action by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.