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Washington State Investigating Facebook and Google Over Political Ads

June 07, 2019 / Eli Sanders

Facebook and Google are again facing questions from election regulators in Washington state, who recently opened formal investigations into both companies over their local political ad practices. The Washington State Public Disclosure Commission's formal investigation of Facebook was opened on May 21. Its formal investigation of Google was opened on June 4, exactly one year to the day after Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson sued both companies over what he said were years of failure to comply with this state's groundbreaking election transparency requirements. Election ads on digital platforms have been under scrutiny ever since Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election showed that online ads are easily weaponized and, at the federal level, pretty much unregulated in comparison with political ads delivered by television, radio, or newspapers.