On Tuesday, Democratic Rep. Anna Eshoo introduced a bill that would disrupt political advertising on social platforms such as Facebook and Google,media reported. The Banned Microtarget Political Ads Act would prohibit platforms such as Google and Facebook from allowing advertisers to target information based on their users’ demographics or behavioral data.
Ann Eshoo Infographic
The Federal Election Commission will be the main enforcer of the proposed rules, but the bill leaves room for individuals to file civil lawsuits against companies accused of violating the rules. The court can pay between $100 and $1,000 in damages for negligent infringement and $500 to $5,000 for reckless tort.
Eshoo points out that micro-targeting political ads divide their open democratic debate into millions of unrestricted private shafts that allow the spread of false promises, polarizing lies, false information, fake news and voter suppression.
While the United States Congress has yet to vote on these measures, this has not prevented efforts to further regulate this area. Rep. David Cicillion announced last week that he plans to introduce a bill that would allow advertisers and platforms to use age, gender and location data to target ads. His proposal is not as strict as Eshoo’s, which only allows location based on home address. The measure was proposed on Tuesday.
“Micro-positioning is a threat to our democracy,” Cicillin said last week. Campaigns and foreign organizations can use this technology to manipulate voters by using a lot of misleading information that is virtually impossible to track. “
The 2020 U.S. presidential campaign has spent more than $1.3 billion on advertising on television, radio and digital platforms, Ad Age reported. As calls for regulation mount, platforms such as Facebook and Google have created their own databases of political advertising. In November, Twitter dropped all political ads.
And just after Twitter decided last year to ban political ads, Ellen L. Weintraub, a member of the Federal Election Commission, wrote in an op-ed in The Washington Post that the platform should “sell political ads, but it needs to stop microtargeting them.” “The micro-targeting of online political advertising threatens our unity in the United States,” Says Weintraub. Micro-targeted ads are more likely to be divisive than those facing broader public scrutiny and rebuttal. “