McCain joins Dems on bill to regulate social media ads

McCain joins Dems on bill to regulate social media ads

And tech giants would lastly have to employ "reasonable efforts" to ensure that foreign governments and their agents - from Russian Federation or elsewhere - are not purchasing political ads on their platforms.

USA legislation that would impose new disclosure requirements on political ads that run on Facebook and other websites received support on Wednesday from Senator John McCain, giving a bipartisan boost to a bill already popular among Democrats.

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

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.

Disclosures for ad financing would apply to any entity that purchases more than $500 in ads cumulatively across a platform, a fairly low threshold for disclosure that speaks to the potency of even small ad buys on platforms like Facebook.

Several senators are also working on bills aimed at improving election security, including Democrat Martin Heinrich of New Mexico and Collins, both members of the Intelligence Committee.

Representatives of Google, Facebook, and Twitter are expected to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee next month.

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Warner and Klobuchar said they were not certain about the bill's prospects in Congress but that they hoped to get something passed by early next year or to have the provisions attached to another piece of legislation. US media reports also indicate Russians purchased similar ads on Google.

The threshold was lowered because digital ads are much cheaper, Warner said. "I operate on what I believe in, and if people agree, then they agree".

Three US senators will introduce the "Honest Ads Act" tomorrow (Oct. 19) that would essentially make these companies follow the same standards for political advertising that broadcast television and radio stations in the America have followed for decades, according to a press release. "We have already announced the steps Facebook will take on our own and we look forward to continuing the conversation with lawmakers as we work toward a legislative solution", said Erin Egan, Facebook VP for US Public Policy in a statement to CNET.

Disclose contact information for the ads' purchaser, and how much they paid for the ad.

In addition, Twitter has taken action against suspected Russian troll accounts, suspending 22 accounts that corresponded with fake accounts used on Facebook.

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. According to Facebook, someone buying an ad for $33 - the average cost suggested by the $100,000 the Russians spent on roughly 3,000 ads - could expect to reach between 11,000-63,000 users in one day.

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