Twitter Caught Committing Campaign Finance Violations in Washington State

Twitter Caught Committing Campaign Finance Violations in Washington State

( – Twitter has been all over the news lately for censorship issues. Now, the social media giant is in more legal trouble — and it’s not for what you think.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) announced a $100,000 judgment against Twitter. The social media company failed to maintain proper records of nearly $200,000 in earnings from campaign advertisements beginning in 2012 through 2019. At that time, Twitter banned political ads on its platform.

Ferguson issued an official statement stressing that “transparency” is key to having a “free and informed” voters’ body. Additionally, no one is exempt from maintaining full compliance with campaign finance laws, whether they’re a local news source or “a multinational social media platform.”

Washington’s Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) oversees the state’s campaign finance laws and will receive the judgment payment. It recently enacted rules specific to digital political advertisers.

Those rules carry the full force of law and include maintaining the following information for public review:

  • Candidate names or the names of measures opposed or supported;
  • Dates the ads ran;
  • Name and address of individuals or groups sponsoring the ads; and
  • Total costs of the ad campaigns, the method of payment, and the individual or group paying for it.

As PDC Chair David Ammons stated, it’s imperative for Washington election officials to “stay vigilant in demanding full compliance” with the state’s campaign disclosure laws. Free and fair elections demand nothing less.

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