Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has opened the door a crack for the federal government to begin regulating some of its ads.
As Recode reports, recent meetings with lawmakers have resulted in some concessions regarding political advertising disclosures:
Facebook told the U.S. government that it would support limited new federal rules requiring companies and campaigns to disclose more information about online political ads.
But the social giant — in comments filed with the Federal Election Commission on Monday — did not appear to wade into what should be done about issues-related political ads, the kinds of ads purchased by Russian agents in an attempt to sow social unrest around the 2016 presidential election.
Instead, Facebook concentrated on supporting the FEC’s efforts to make it clearer exactly when tech companies need to disclose the origin of political ads. FB also wants the FEC to spell out exactly what those disclosures must include.
The social media behemoth is also in support of rules that would require more transparency regarding candidate-focused ads running around election season. This measure would hold social networks to the same sort of regulations that apply to print publications and TV stations. Facebook suggested placing an information icon on political ads that users could click on to get more info about who is behind the ad.
These changes represent quite an about-face for Facebook, which as recently as 2011 actually sought an exemption from FEC advertising regulations. It’s amazing how things progress once Russian operatives infiltrate an ad network and help throw a hotly-contested major election into chaos, isn’t it?
Facebook Inc shares fell $0.37 (-0.21%) in premarket trading Tuesday. Year-to-date, FB has gained 55.38%, versus a 17.22% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.