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Facebook, Google settle over state's political advertising lawsuit

December 19, 2018 / Jefferson Robbins

To Facebook and Google, $455,000 is less than the change you could find in your sofa.  But it settles a pair of lawsuits brought by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, which could have shown the two Internet companies broke state laws around political advertising. In Washington, political advertisers must keep information about who pays for a campaign ad and make it public. Ferguson’s court case said Google and Facebook, which were major platforms for political ads in Washington elections, did neither. The violations were first revealed by the Seattle alternative newspaper The Stranger, which prompted Ferguson’s lawsuits last June. The settlements $238,000 from Facebook, $217,000 from Google end that court fights with neither company admitting of guilt. The money will go into Washington’s Public Disclosure Transparency account, which pays for campaign law enforcement.