Lately, it seems like Meta is fighting a new legal battle every week. In their latest trip to the courtroom, Facebook’s parent company was sued for almost $25 million by Washington State for intentionally violating campaign finance laws.
The multi-million dollar fee is the biggest campaign finance penalty in US history and the maximum fine possible. Washington’s Attorney General (AG), Bob Ferguson, said that the maximum penalty was appropriate given that Facebook was ordered to pay $238,000 over the same issue back in 2018 and knowingly chose to violate the same laws again.
Washington laws require ad sellers to track and make public the names and addresses of people who buy political ads, the targeted audience of those ads, how they were paid for, and the number of views each ad received. For decades, other ad sellers like TV stations and newspapers have followed these laws.
Meta, on the other hand, did not keep an archive of its political ads and could not disclose any of the required information. The AG further called into question Facebook’s actions stating, “I have one word for Facebook’s conduct in this case — arrogance. It intentionally disregarded Washington’s election transparency laws.”