The Honest Ads Act would help prevent foreign actors from influencing our elections by ensuring that political ads sold online have the same transparency and disclosure requirements as ads sold on TV, radio, and satellite
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) released the following statement on new requirements announced today by Facebook and Twitter that would increase transparency and add new disclosure requirements for online political ads.
“Today’s announcements by both Facebook and Twitter reflect an acknowledgement that we need more transparency and accountability for online political ads to prevent foreign actors from influencing future elections. The next election is in only 166 days and we already know Russia and other bad actors are trying to interfere. Changes like those announced today are a great step, but Congress should step up and get the Honest Ads Act passed to ensure that all major platforms that sell online political advertisements are held to the same rules of the road.”
Russia attempted to influence the 2016 presidential election by buying and placing political ads on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google. The content and purchaser(s) of those online advertisements are a mystery to the public because of outdated laws that have failed to keep up with evolving technology. The Honest Ads Act would prevent foreign actors from influencing our elections by ensuring that political ads sold online are covered by the same rules as ads sold on TV, radio, and print.
The Honest Ads Act enhances the integrity of our democracy by improving disclosure requirements for online political advertisements by:
- Amending the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002’s definition of electioneering communication to include paid Internet and digital advertisements.
- Requiring digital platforms with at least 50,000,000 monthly viewers to maintain a public file of all electioneering communications purchased by a person or group who spends more than $500.00 total on ads published on their platform. The file would contain a digital copy of the advertisement, a description of the audience the advertisement targets, the number of views generated, the dates and times of publication, the rates charged, and the contact information of the purchaser.
- Requiring online platforms to make all reasonable efforts to ensure that foreign individuals and entities are not purchasing political advertisements in order to influence the American electorate.