A look at how companies try to reach potential customers.
Sens Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Mark Warner (D-VA) reintroduced the Honest Ads Act to help prevent foreign interference in future elections and improve the transparency of online political advertisements. Sen Graham carries on the bipartisan legacy of the bill from the late Sen John McCain (R-AZ). The Honest Ads Act ensures that political ads sold online are covered by the same rules as ads sold on TV, radio, and satellite. The Act:
The Department of Justice will hold a public workshop on May 2 and 3, 2019 to explore industry dynamics in media advertising and the implications for antitrust enforcement and policy, including merger enforcement. The workshop will cover the different types of television and online advertising, and it will highlight, among other developments in the industry, the role of online and mobile advertising networks.
Code of practice against disinformation: Commission welcomes the commitment of online platforms ahead of the European elections
The European Commission published the latest reports by Facebook, Google and Twitter covering the progress made in March 2019 to fight disinformation. The three online platforms are signatories to the Code of Practice against disinformation and have committed to report monthly on their actions ahead of the European Parliament elections in May 2019.
The Trump campaign is spending nearly half (44%) of its Facebook ad budget to target users who are over 65 years old, as opposed to Democratic candidates who are only spending 27% of their budget on that demographic. Other data points pulled from the Facebook ad archive show that the President is using most of those ads targeted towards older people to talk about immigration. Trump is using nativist language around immigrants in 54% of his ads, according to Bully Pulpit Interactive.
We have more work do if want to truly modernize the public file system that is the subject of our decision April 12. These filings include things like station authorizations, contour maps, ownership reports, equal employment opportunity filings, reports on children’s television programming, materials related to investigations and complaints, and joint sales agreements.
Facebook now faces investigations into its business practices from a variety of federal agencies. Officials have opened inquiries into possible civil and criminal violations of laws related to privacy, corporate governance and discrimination. Facebook has largely denied wrongdoing in each of the investigations and said it was cooperating with regulators and law enforcement. Here are the agencies looking into Facebook, and some of the issues involved.
I believe we need a more active role for governments and regulators. By updating the rules for the Internet, we can preserve what’s best about it — the freedom for people to express themselves and for entrepreneurs to build new things — while also protecting society from broader harms. From what I’ve learned, I believe we need new regulation in four areas: harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability.
Before the Department of Housing and Urban Development on March 28 announced that it has charged Facebook with violating the Fair Housing Act by enabling advertisers to engage in housing discrimination, Facebook said that it would change its ad-targeting methods to forbid discriminatory advertisements about housing, employment and credit opportunities. This plan, announced the week of March 18, is part of its settlement agreement with the civil rights groups that filed suits against the company over the past few years. The substantive terms are not radical.
Advertisers will be required to provide verifiable public contact details before they can run political campaigns on Facebook, in the latest attempt by the social network to increase accountability for so-called dark adverts. The move is part of a raft of changes in the buildup to the European elections in May, when citizens from across the European Union will vote in new Members of the European Parliament. Facebook’s political advertising restrictions will launch in the EU27 on March 29, following partial rollouts in six countries including the UK, US and India.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development alerted Twitter and Google in 2018 that it is scrutinizing their practices for possible housing discrimination, a sign that more technology companies could be ensnared in a government probe of their lucrative demographic ad targeting tools. HUD on March 28 charged Facebook with housing discrimination, alleging its targeted advertising platform violates the Fair Housing Act by “encouraging, enabling, and causing” unlawful discrimination by restricting who can view housing ads.