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Federal Election Commission (FEC) to Review New Rules for Political Ads on Social Media


In the wake of revelations concerning meddling and interference by Russian parties in the 2016 presidential campaign, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) - the independent regulatory agency whose purpose it is to enforce campaign finance law in United States federal elections - is now set to review the rules which govern the placement and nature of political ads on online platforms, FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub revealed at a tech conference on Monday.

The FEC agreed in late 2017 to come up with new rules after congressional committees demanded action from social media companies and lawmakers alike in response to the $100,000 worth of ads revealed by Facebook in September to have been purchased by Russian troll farms on their platform. Congress and the Senate were joined in their plea by various other parties and organisations including tech giant Google, whose influence will surely help proceedings move forward in good time.

Weintraub revealed few details concerning the proposed rule changes during Monday’s announcement, though she did give us an idea of the timescale the FEC will work to as she told her audience, “I’m hoping that we are going to be able move this rule-making forward within this election cycle.”

Also present at the conference was Katie Harbath, Facebook Inc.’s Global Politics and Government Outreach Director, who addressed the audience to make clear the company’s intent to take a strong stance against the issue in the future, and enact meaningful change as soon as possible.

According to Harbath, Facebook will begin archiving advertisements from political groups that have to file with the FEC or the Internal Revenue Service for four years, as well as providing users with details of the money spent on said ads and access to demographical data such as the age, gender, and location of those who see them.

Though Facebook do indeed seem clear in their intent to correct the issue, Harbath admitted they are still working out the details regarding how to best go about these changes.

“Do we do it by ad? Do we do it by campaign? Do we do it by day?” said Harbath, “There are a lot of different options there that we are trying to work through to help provide more of this transparency and authentication of people who are buying political ads on our platform.”



Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. Currently working as Editor of Social Songbird, he hopes to one day drop that 'aspiring' prefix. Follow him @Songbird_Sam

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Federal Election Commission (FEC) to Review New Rules for Political Ads on Social Media Reviewed by Sam Bonson on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 Rating: 5
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