WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee with jurisdiction over federal elections, released this statement following news that Twitter will no longer run political ads. Klobuchar is the author of the Honest Ads Act with Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to help prevent foreign interference in future elections and improve the transparency of online political advertisements. 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 The content and purchaser(s) of those online advertisements are a mystery to the public because of outdated laws that have failed to keep up with evolving technology.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 satellite.
“Russia conducted a 'sweeping and systematic' cyber mission in the last election and our adversaries continue to use social media to erode the integrity of our electoral process. Social media companies like Twitter and Facebook have an obligation to the public to ensure that their platforms aren’t being manipulated to spread disinformation. But under their current policies, Facebook is allowing blatant lies in political ads and now Twitter isn’t allowing political ads at all, creating a patchwork of solutions across various platforms that isn’t going to work. We need consistent rules of the road in place for all political ads, such as my Honest Ads Act, to protect the integrity of our democracy. It is time for Congress to take action.”