Technology

Washington State: Facebook Allegedly Gave False Information in Lawsuit

Strict campaign finance laws in Washington state require ad marketers like Facebook to disclose specific information about the names and addresses of the people who buy the ads, who is targeting them, and the total number of people who buy the ads. Views of each ad. (Photo: 123RF)

Seattle – Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has argued that a Facebook representative gave false testimony in a lawsuit accusing the company of violating state laws on campaign finance.

The Seattle Times reports that in court records, the Democratic attorney general maintained that the social media giant and its attorneys knew the testimony was false.

Ferguson sued Facebook last year, for the second time, alleging that the company “repeatedly and openly violated” state campaign transparency laws by selling political ads without providing details of spending, a legally required requirement.

“Facebook is a commercial advertiser, but it considers itself above this law,” Ferguson writes in a new filing. “Even after a previous trial and the initial complaint in this case, he still refuses to provide the public with access to all the information required in political advertisements.”

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Seattle Times.

Facebook has argued that Washington’s campaign finance laws are unconstitutional and violate the free speech protections of the First Amendment and the Commerce Clause, which gives Congress the power to regulate commerce between states.

In a court file, Facebook said it did not provide false testimony because the issue raised by the attorney general’s office was beyond the agreed scope and timing of questioning.

Strict campaign finance laws in Washington state require ad marketers like Facebook to disclose specific information about the names and addresses of the people who buy the ads, who is targeting them, and the total number of people who buy the ads. Views of each ad.

Facebook calls the law “onerous” and says it violates the First Amendment by requiring the company to disclose information about political speech, information about who buys political ads, which it would not otherwise do.

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