Zuckerberg announces support for regulating political ads on social media

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced support Friday for legislation that would regulate political ads on internet platforms, including his own.

Zuckerberg said that Facebook supports the Honest Ads Act, legislation that would hold social media companies to the same political regulations as TV, print and radio outlets.

“Election interference is a problem that’s bigger than any one platform, and that’s why we support the Honest Ads Act. This will help raise the bar for all political advertising online,” Zuckerberg said in a post.

The legislation, created by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), was drafted in response to Russian use of social media ads to influence the 2016 election.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has announced his support for the Honest Ads Act, but the bill has yet to receive backing from other Republicans, who say that they support the sentiment but not the specific rules in the bill.

Warner said in a statement that other companies should follow suit and back political ad regulations as well.

“Most of the paid ads the Internet Research Agency ran on Facebook prior to the 2016 election didn’t mention Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump — but they did mention divisive political issues like guns, LGBT rights, immigration, and racial issues,” Warner said. “That’s why today’s announcement by Facebook is so important.”

Zuckerberg’s announcement comes days before he faces three Congressional committees next week in back-to-back hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Lawmakers are expected to hammer the Facebook CEO over how British data firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked on the Trump campaign, was able to obtain data from 50 million Facebook users. 

Lawmakers will also likely press Zuckerberg on how Facebook was used by Russians attempting to influence the 2016 election.

Tags Amy Klobuchar Donald Trump Hillary Clinton John McCain Mark Warner Mark Zuckerberg

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