Judge finds Facebook violated Washington state’s campaign laws

Breitbart News reports that a judge has found Facebook (aka Meta) violated – both repeatedly and intentionally – the campaign-ad transparency laws of Washington state.

The law, according to Breitbart, requires political ad sellers to disclose the names and addresses of the ad buyers as well as the total number of ad views generated.

Facebook, though, hasn’t been following this law. Facebook, in fact, believes that it shouldn’t have to follow these laws – or at least that’s what it argued in court.

Facebook argued, in a summary judgment motion, that Washington’s law “unduly burdens political speech” and that it is “virtually impossible to comply with.” Facebook also argued that Washington’s law is an “outlier.”

King County Superior Court Judge Douglass North, however, wasn’t having any of it.

“This is clearly a very appropriate subject for disclosure, and the law is very constitutional,” North said.

Now, Facebook is going to have to pay penalties, but, as of yet, it is unclear what those penalties will be. They will be determined at a subsequent hearing.

Normally, under Washington law, a violator would pay $10,000 per violation. But, that figure could be tripled in certain situations, such as when the violations are deemed to be intentional.

Given that it has been found that Facebook repeated and intentionally violated the law, Facebook could end up being forced to pay a rather large sum here.