Eli Sanders Profile picture
Writing the Wild West newsletter @SubstackInc | Author of While the City Slept | Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing | Former @TheStranger
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Oct 26, 2022 13 tweets 4 min read
NEWS: Seattle Judge Douglass North has just ordered Meta to pay $24,660,000 to the State of Washington for 822 violations of the state's unusually strong law mandating transparency in online political ads. Image In addition, "Meta is permanently enjoined from conditioning, limiting, or otherwise restricting its compliance" with the political ad disclosure law, Judge North's order says.

(Meta had tried to avoid disclosing ad targeting info and limited disclosure to Washington residents.)
Sep 2, 2022 17 tweets 3 min read
BREAKING: A Washington State judge just ruled that Facebook intentionally and repeatedly violated a state political ad disclosure law that's been on the books for 50 years.

Facebook wanted the law declared unconstitutional. "The law is very constitutional," the judge said. Some background here:
Apr 14, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
NEW: Washington state sues Facebook for "repeatedly violating" campaign finance law
thestranger.com/slog/2020/04/1… The lawsuit, filed by @BobFergusonAG, alleges Facebook broke the law by failing to disclose required details about the money trails behind hundreds of local political ads that targeted Washington state's elections in 2019.
Oct 31, 2019 19 tweets 4 min read
Both @karaswisher and @jack are calling attention to how Mark Zuckerberg conflates "free speech" with paid speech as he defends Facebook's hands-off approach to lies in political ads.

We have seen this conflation before in Washington state. It happened just over a year ago, as Facebook and Google lobbyists were trying to weaken Washington state's strong disclosure laws regarding online political ads that target local elections. (Mayor, city council, school board, etc.)

Dec 20, 2018 17 tweets 4 min read
Washington state is about to become the first place in the U.S. where Facebook and Google won't sell local election ads. How'd that happen? A thread:

thestranger.com/slog/2018/12/1… It begins decades ago, before the internet existed—before Mark Zuckerberg was even alive.

In 1972, amid disgust at Nixon-era corruption, Washington voters overwhelmingly approved a law bringing daylight to the financing of political campaigns.