April 14, 2020

The Public Disclosure Commission welcomed the lawsuit filed against Facebook by the Attorney General’s Office today as a demonstration of the continuing relevance of Washington’s nearly 50-year-old campaign finance law.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson – acting on an investigation and referral from the PDC – filed the lawsuit, alleging the company violated a state law that governs sellers of political advertising in Washington state. 

The law – which applies to print shops, newspapers, TV stations and digital platforms, among other commercial advertisers – requires them to make information about the advertising available to the public within 24 hours of the ad’s publication. The lawsuit alleges that Facebook failed to do so.

“This lawsuit proves the incredible foresight of Washingtonians when they approved Initiative 276 in 1972,” PDC Chair David Ammons said.  “Companies that accept political advertising in Washington need to play by our rules, including providing the public with clear information about who is behind those ads and where the money comes from. 

“The PDC stands with Attorney General Ferguson to ensure our laws are followed by every advertiser, large or small.”
 
Read more about the lawsuit on the attorney general’s website.