Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has been hit with a massive fine for violating campaign finance laws. In a report from the Associated Press, a King County Superior Court Judge in Washington penalized the social media megalith to the tune of almost $25 million.
Per the outlet, “transparency” laws in Washington require ad sellers to log the names and addresses of people or entities purchasing political ads. They must also log what method was used to purchase the ad. Additionally, the views of each advertisement are required to be public. Per AP, Meta reportedly has been failing to comply with these requirements.
The news comes after Meta experienced a drop in stock prices, with Disclose.tv reporting on Twitter Wednesday that Meta’s stock had fallen more than 10 percent after-hours “as its quarterly profit more than halved.”
Via Just the News, Meta has argued in court that Washington’s transparency law was “virtually impossible to comply with.” However, Meta repeatedly flouted the law. According to Just the News, the penalty of $24.7 million was the maximum penalty possible for an apparent 800 violations of the regulation.
Interestingly, last week the Trump legal team filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court of Florida regarding Senate Bill 7072. The bill “forbids the banning or removal of political candidates from social media platforms and establishes transparency requirements for when users are censored,” as previously reported by RSBN.
The bill is directly related to the conduct of social media giants like Twitter and Facebook.
Further, Meta’s slap on the proverbial wrist comes after Twitter was upended in a takeover by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who acquired the platform this year for $44 billion after months of legal dueling between himself and the company regarding the true number of bots and spam on the site.
The Twitter takeover has rocked the social media world and could potentially pose a massive threat to censorship-happy Facebook if Musk follows through on his intention to facilitate a space “where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence.”
According to AP, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson stated in a press release that Meta “…intentionally disregarded Washington’s election transparency laws. But that wasn’t enough. Facebook argued in court that those laws should be declared unconstitutional. That’s breathtaking. Where’s the corporate responsibility?”