Recently, a judge ruled that Facebook intentionally and repeatedly violated Washington’s campaign transparency laws. He must also pay penalties. Attorney General Bob Ferguson criticized Facebook’s “cynical effort” to undermine Washington’s campaign finance laws and challenged the Masters of the Universe “to follow the law.”
According to the Seattle Times, Facebook (now called Meta) has repeatedly and deliberately violated Washington’s campaign transparency laws. They must pay yet-to be determined penalties according to a King County Superior Court Judge Douglass North. According to the law, ad sellers must disclose names and addresses of political buyers and metrics such the number of ad impressions generated. Facebook believes it shouldn’t.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson of Washington, whose office has sued Facebook repeatedly, said that the court rejected Facebook’s attempt at invalidating Washington’s decades-old transparency laws. Ferguson stated that the Attorney General’s Office defeated Facebook’s “cynical effort” to undermine Washington’s transparency law on campaign finance.
Facebook repeatedly objected and argued in a summary judgement motion that Washington’s law was an “outlier” that “unduly hinders political speech” and “virtually impossible for me to comply with.”
Judge North dismissed Facebook’s arguments in court. He stated that the company had not shown it could comply. North stated, “This is clearly an appropriate subject for disclosure and the law’s very constitutional.”
At a later hearing, the exact penalty Facebook will pay will be decided. If violations are intentional, the law allows for financial positions up to $10,000. According to the Attorney General’s Office, Facebook had committed hundreds of violations since 2018.