Culture

Honest Ads Act wants tech companies to reveal who buys political ads

Honest Ads Act wants tech companies to reveal who buys political ads”

Facebook in particular has been making an effort to provide a bit more transparency in how political advertising is bought on its platform.

Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) have taken the wraps off the final draft of the Honest Ads Act, the bill aimed at keeping Russian election-meddlers off the political ad roles of Web sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google, and harmonize the disclosures of legitimate political ads across all platforms.

Warner has said that the ads Facebook disclosed were just the "tip of the iceberg" of Russia's election interference via social media, and he's slammed Twitter for the limited scope of its internal investigation into the matter.

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

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Tech companies have been resistant to past attempts to regulate them, and Warner previously has been critical of social media platforms' slowness to cooperate with the Russian Federation investigation underway at Senate Intelligence Committee, which he vice-chairs. Representatives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google are scheduled to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee on November 1 in an open hearing.

The Senate and House intelligence committees are two of the main congressional panels probing allegations that Russian Federation sought to interfere in the USA election to boost Republican President Donald Trump's chances of winning, and possible collusion between Trump associates and Russian Federation.

Lawmakers' focus on social media comes after Facebook, Twitter and Google owner Alphabet Inc. acknowledged Russian exploitation of their networks to spread propaganda and chaos. "What we're trying to here is start with a light touch", Warner said. A Google spokeswoman said on Thursday there was no update from the company.

"I think that they got the message", Warner said.

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"I have a hard time understanding how you do legislation on social media platforms before you have them in for a hearing", Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, a Republican, told CNN on Thursday.

It's also unclear where the social media giants will land on the bill once the details are released. "That is not the kind of transparency we need".

The new online ad disclosure rules would cover everything from promoted tweets and sponsored content to search and display advertising - and it would apply to ads on behalf of a candidate or focused on issues of national importance, according to a copy of the bill.

In the past, technology companies have resisted attempts to force them into disclosing information about paid advertisers, although some have said they would cooperate with congressional committees investigating Russian interference in the election. The ads appear to have come from a Russian entity known as the Internet Research Agency, according to Facebook.

Angelina Jolie Agreed to Help Lure Out Dangerous African Warlord
She replied that Pitt was "being supportive" and that they should "discuss logistics", however the trip seemingly did not happen. The activist actress would act as bait to help take Kony into custody in the Central African Republic , where he was based.

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.



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