McCain joins Dems on bill to regulate social media ads

McCain joins Dems on bill to regulate social media ads

Democratic senators on Thursday announced legislation co-sponsored by Sen.

Online political ads are much more loosely regulated in the United States than political ads on television, radio and satellite services.

"Russia attacked us and will continue to use different tactics to undermine our democracy and divide our country, including by purchasing disruptive online political ads", Klobuchar said. Other platforms, such as Twitter, have also come under increased scrutiny recently for Kremlin-linked activity on their sites during the election.

McCain said he supports the bill "for the same reason I have been for transparency in campaign finance reform for the last 25 years". Warner is the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The lawmaker overseeing the probe into how Russian agents used Facebook to sway last year's US election was hoping to hear from one of the company's technical experts.

Although Twitter and Google were apparently key to spreading fake news past year, much of the information war took place on Facebook, where hundreds of pages dedicated to USA election issues were reportedly controlled by Russian trolls.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is planning a November 1 hearing on the issue, and has invited representatives from Facebook, Google, and Twitter to testify. The House Intelligence Committee has said it plans on publicly releasing the ads. The bill would also place a "reasonable expectation" on social media companies to identify if the source of an ad buy is outside the U.S. Campaigns spending more than $500 on ads will have to make them available for public viewing along with disclosures about who paid for the ad, who the ad was targeted at, and the cost.

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The threshold was lowered because digital ads are much cheaper, Warner said.

And as to whether Facebook and its cohorts are media platforms or technology platforms, that's just semantics, Klobuchar said. Warner said Thursday that "it is in their own self interest to work with us", pointing to the consumer trust that those companies depend on, and called the legislation a "light touch approach". "They have to realize the world has changed", Klobuchar told the New York Times.

The bill also has the support of Republican Sen. You can thank them for things like the awkward "I'm so and so and I approve this message" statements at the end of political TV ads.

And within Congress, the bill might struggle to advance. The company's high-profile Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg will not appear.

His knowledge of the Washington landscape helped him negotiate a 2011 settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, which had charged Facebook with deceiving consumers about whether it would keep their data private.

The bill, known as The Honest Ads Act, will seek to impose new rules on online political ads similar to those now imposed on traditional broadcast media. The bipartisan bill will, should it pass, require all digital platforms to federally disclose who buys political ads on each platform's website or app, the goal being to avoid further foreign meddling in USA elections and fueling the flames around issues like racial tensions. For 99% of the ads, less than $1,000 was spent. Facebook has since turned over more than 3,000 Russian-linked ads to congressional committees investigating Russian interference.

An ad-buyer could reach up to nearly 4 million Americans in 24 hours by spending $9,999 - a dollar under the $10,000 limit - according to estimates on Facebook's ad platform reviewed by CNN.

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