January 09, 2020

Ranking Member Klobuchar Statement on New Facebook Ad Policy

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) released this statement following Facebook’s announcement that they will introduce changes to their platform to allow users to control more of the ads they see, but won’t limit political advertising.

“Facebook is doubling down on a policy that hurts our democracy. It is wrong to take money from political campaigns in exchange for disseminating blatant lies to the American people. It is also wrong that Facebook is immune from any liability for the reckless political ads they sell. We must have rules of the road to ensure that Americans can trust the news they see online.”

Klobuchar has been a leader in the fight to stop the spread of disinformation online and improve transparency across social media platforms. Last year, she introduced the Combatting Foreign Influence Act with Senator Reed (D-RI), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, which would require the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to establish a Malign Foreign Influence Response Center where officials from across the intelligence community could collaborate and ensure that agencies and departments are working together to assess influence operations with a whole-of-government approach. A similar provision became law as part of the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act.  

In July, Klobuchar introduced the Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy Act, legislation to combat foreign interference campaigns by improving media literacy education that teaches students skills to identify misinformation online. In May, Klobuchar reintroduced the Honest Ads Act with Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to help prevent foreign interference in future elections and improve the transparency of online political advertisements. Russia attempted to influence the 2016 presidential election by buying and placing political ads on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google. The content and purchaser(s) of those online advertisements are a mystery to the public because of outdated laws that have failed to keep up with evolving technology. The Honest Ads Act would prevent foreign actors from influencing our elections by ensuring that political ads sold online are covered by the same rules as ads sold on TV, radio, and satellite.