In The News


Democracy needs digital transparency

As a response to the Russian campaign to sow discord in the 2016 presidential election, the so-called Honest Ads Act is wholly inadequate. It is also entirely necessary. The legislation, introduced last week by Democratic Sens. Mark Warner of Virginia and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, requires online platforms with at least 50 million monthly users - think Facebook, Google and Twitter - to make a public record of advertisers who spend at least $500 on political ads regarding campaigns or signific… Continue Reading


Twitter caves: Announces plan to improve “transparency” for political ads

One week before Twitter executives are slated to testify before the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, the company has bowed to pressure from lawmakers and announced it will soon begin providing users with more information about political advertising appearing on its platform, CNBC reported. Bruce Falck, Twitter's GM of revenue, product and engineering, made the announcement in a blog post published this afternoon. The policy - which is meant to provide "greater transparency" for Twitter… Continue Reading


Twitter announces new ‘transparency center’ for ads

by Anthony Ha

Twitter is responding to political scrutiny over the role it may have played in spreading Russian misinformation, and to a bipartisan Congressional bill proposing new regulations for online ads, with some new initiatives of its own. So it's launching an Advertising Transparency Center where users should be able to see all the ads running on Twitter, the content/creative of those ads, how long they've been running and which ones are targeted specifically at you. Anyone can then report an ad as i… Continue Reading


Tech companies and U.S. lawmakers are clashing over the need for new regulations targeting political ads

by Tony Romm

To Republican Rep. Will Hurd, it's an urgent problem that Russian agents purchased "political advertising on major American social media platforms" ahead of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. To his Democratic colleague, Rep. Robin Kelly, federal laws must be updated in response. But as those two lawmakers and their peers began weighing on Tuesday exactly what to do, the likes of Facebook, Google and other tech companies and ad networks came with a message of their own: We can handle much of … Continue Reading


U.S. lawmakers want crackdown on Facebook, Twitter political ads

U.S. lawmakers, alarmed that foreign entities used the internet to influence last year's election, introduced legislation on Thursday to extend rules governing political advertising on television, print and radio to also cover social media like Facebook Inc (FB.O). Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar and Mark Warner and Republican John McCain introduced the "Honest Ads Act," one of the strongest efforts in Congress yet to address allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign. … Continue Reading


Bipartisan bill looks to train employees, close the skills gap

by Dave Kovaleski

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is sponsoring legislation that would incentivize employers to invest in their employees and close the skill gap that exists between employers' needs and employees in many industries. The bill - the Career Advancement Through New Skills Act - was introduced last week by Reps. Randy Hultgren (R-IL), Mike Thompson (D-CA), Bradley Byrne (R-AL), and Derek Kilmer (D-WA). "One the greatest challenges facing workers today is connecting the skills and knowledge they have… Continue Reading


Coffman, McCain lead bicameral bill targeting online political advertising by foreign entities

Following revelations that a Russian company bought 3,000 political ads on Facebook in an effort to sway the 2016 presidential election, U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) and U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation on Thursday to strengthen the monitoring of online ads. The Honest Ads Act would mandate that online platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google make reasonable efforts to ensure that foreign entities are not buying political advertisements in order to i… Continue Reading


Thompson hopes to close ‘skills gap’

Congressmen Mike Thompson (CA-05), Bradley Byrne (AL-01), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), and Randy Hultgren (IL-14) introduced the Career Advancement Through New Skills Act, legislation that would incentivize employers to invest in their employees, giving them the necessary training to close the skill gap that exists between employers' needs and employees in many industries. "The nation's skills gap is significant. Small businesses across the country report being unable to find qualified applicants and … Continue Reading


Bipartisan bill aimed at foreign election influence on social media unveiled

by Tierney Sneed

Democratic senators on Thursday announced legislation co-sponsored by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that would require major social media platforms to label political ads in much the same way they're disclosed on television and radio. The bill, The Honest Ads Act, comes in response to growing evidence that Russia exploited a number of social media platforms to interfere with the 2016 election and exacerbate divisions in U.S. political discourse. A companion bill, sponsored by Reps. Derek Kilmer (D-WA… Continue Reading


New bill would make political digital ads ‘honest’

The lure of online advertising by political operatives may become less bright if a bipartisan bill introduced on Thursday becomes law. The proposed Honest Ads Act would require the largest digital advertising players to face the same transparency and disclosure requirements as ads sold on radio, television and cable and satellite TV. "They have an obligation--just like TV and radio has-to disclose this to the public," Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) said during a Capitol Hill press conference. The le… Continue Reading


What will the transparency fight mean for digital advertising?

by Sean J. Miller

Congressional lawmakers on Thursday touted their digital ad transparency legislation as a way of applying current rules governing television and radio campaign marketing to the internet. But some practitioners worry that the law is unworkable and could aggravate Google, Facebook and Twitter enough to hinder future campaign advertising. Facebook has already warned that ads targeting specific issues and religious or ethnic groups will faced added scrutiny. If the Honest Ads Act that Democratic … Continue Reading


Bill would regulate political ads on social media

by Michael Kan

Tech companies including Google and Facebook will have to reveal the buyers of online political ads if a proposed Senate bill becomes law. The bill, called the Honest Ads Act, demands that major online services keep a public file on political ad purchases, which anyone-such as voters and journalists-can access. It would also force tech companies to include disclaimers on each online political ad, identifying who sponsored them. The three US Senators behind the bill, two Democrats and Republica… Continue Reading


Senators crack down on Facebook and other platforms with a bill to regulate online political ads

by Allison Schiff

If lawmakers have anything to do with it, political ads on Facebook, Google, Twitter and other online platforms may soon be subject to the same disclosure requirements as traditional political advertising. Senators introduced a bipartisan bill on Thursday to do just that, prompted by revelations of Russian meddling before and during the 2016 US presidential election. Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) are sponsoring the bill with support from John McCain (R-Ariz.). Dubbed th… Continue Reading


Honest Ads bill creates online political ad public file

by John Eggerton

Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) have taken the wraps off the final draft of the Honest Ads Act, the bill aimed at keeping Russian election-meddlers off the political ad roles of Web sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google, and harmonize the disclosures of legitimate political ads across all platforms. The bill, which was introduced Thursday (Oct. 19) would amend the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA) to include paid internet and digital ads in the definition of … Continue Reading


Warner, Klobuchar, McCain introduce bipartisan legislation to prevent foreign interference in future elections, improve transparency of online political ads

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee, U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, and U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services today introduced the Honest Ads Act to help prevent foreign interference in future elections and improve the transparency of online political advertisements. "Online political advertising represents an enormous marketplace, and today there i… Continue Reading


Facebook and Google might be one step closer to new regulations on ad transparency

by Hamza Shaban, Karoun Demirjian

Facebook, Google and Twitter are one step closer to facing new regulations that would place transparency requirements on a core aspect of their businesses: advertising. With support from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Mark R. Warner (Va.) unveiled a bill Thursday that would mandate greater disclosure of political ads that run on large Internet platforms. The proposed legislation was crafted as a response to a Russian-financed propaganda campaign that ran … Continue Reading


Lawmakers unveil bill to thwart Russian election ads on social media

by Steven Overly

A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Thursday unveiled a bill to make it harder for Russia to secretly interfere with future U.S. elections, by forcing social media companies to disclose the buyers of online political ads. The measure from Sens. Amy Klobuchar, (D-Minn.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), and Reps. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) and Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), would expand political ad disclosure rules beyond print, radio, and television to the internet. It would include not only… Continue Reading


Senators unveil bipartisan bill to reveal who is buying political ads on social media

by Erin Kelly

Senators introduced a bipartisan bill Thursday that would require Facebook, Twitter, Google and other social media companies to disclose who is paying for political ads that appear on their online platforms. The legislation by Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and John McCain, R-Ariz., comes in the wake of recent revelations that Kremlin-linked groups exploited American social media to try to influence the 2016 presidential election. Those Russian efforts have been continuing a… Continue Reading


What's new in civic tech: Bipartisan Honest Ads Act targets online political ads

by Zack Quaintance, Theo Douglas

The U.S. Senate has introduced legislation that if passed would mark the federal government's first major effort to increase transparency for online political advertising. The bill is called the Honest Ads Act, and it is a bi-partisan effort introduced by Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and John McCain, R-Ariz. A press release from Sen. Warner's office said the lawmakers introduced the bill in order to "help prevent foreign interference in future elections and improve the tran… Continue Reading


Lawmakers introduce ‘Honest Ads Act’ to govern online political advertising

by Kate Conger, Dell Cameron

Senate lawmakers on Thursday unveiled their first major legislative effort to increase transparency in online political advertising, called the Honest Ads Act. Sponsored by Senators Mark Warner, Amy Klobuchar, and John McCain, the bill attempts to align rules for online advertising with those broadcast on television and radio airwaves. "We understand that election security is national security," Klobuchar said today at a press conference. The Honest Ads Act would require online platforms like … Continue Reading

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