After Public Pressure, FEC To Begin Rulemaking On Online Ad Transparency

After receiving over 150,000 public comments, the Federal Election Commission voted unanimously to make new rules governing online political ad disclosures. EPIC, numerous other organizations, and lawmakers pressed the FEC to require transparency for online ads to combat foreign interference in U.S. elections. The FEC had solicited public comments on its internet disclosure rules three times in six years before finally taking action. A group of 15 Senators wrote, "The FEC must close loopholes that have allowed foreign adversaries to sow discord and misinform the American electorate." And a group of 18 members of Congress urged the FEC to "address head-on the topic of illicit foreign activity in U.S. elections." EPIC suggested the FEC go a step beyond simple disclosures and require "algorithmic transparency" for online platforms that deliver targeted ads to voters. Several senators have also introduced a bipartisan bill that would require the same disclosures for online ads as for television and radio. EPIC is fully engaged in protecting the integrity of elections with its Project on Democracy and Cybersecurity.

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