OLYMPIA, Wash. — In what the Washington attorney general’s office says is an attempt to escape accountability, Facebook’s parent company Meta is trying to strike down a key requirement of Washington’s campaign finance law.
Meta wants to eliminate the provision that commercial advertisers — such as Meta and any other company that runs campaign ads in Washington — keep records on campaign ads that are available to the public, according to a news release from Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office.
Those records must include the ad sponsor, ad cost, how many people saw the ad and the demographics of Washingtonians that the ad targeted.
The law’s requirement applies to Washington TV stations, newspapers and other places where campaign ads are placed.
“If our local newspapers and TV stations provide information to Washingtonians regarding their political ads, so can one of the most sophisticated corporations on the planet,” Ferguson said. “If Meta’s cynical attempt to strike down Washington’s campaign finance law succeeds, Washingtonians will lose the right to see in real time who is funding political ads and how much money they’re spending. Let’s be clear — this multinational corporation is trying to undermine transparency in our elections.”
Ferguson filed a summary judgment motion against Meta in July, asserting that the company “committed numerous, intentional violations” of Washington’s law.
In response, Meta filed a summary judgment motion asking the court to eliminate transparency requirements on commercial advertisers.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office will file a response on Tuesday requesting the court deny Meta’s request.
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