Twitter Has Committed $100,000 Worth of Campaign Finance Violations, Says Washington Attorney General

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has announced that Twitter violated the state’s campaign finance laws and will have to fork over $100,000.

The complaint filed by the state of Washington states that Twitter failed to keep records for various candidates and political committees operating within their state.

“Twitter did not maintain and have available for public inspection all information required under RCW 42.17A.345 and WAC 390-18-050 of commercial advertisers for political advertising that ran on its platform and for which it accepted payment for Washington State campaigns from 2012 through 2019,” said the complaint.

These candidates and committees reported paying Twitter approximately $200,000 for campaign advertising over the course of seven years, from 2012 to 2019. Nearly $33,000 was paid to Twitter directly while the rest went to Twitter through intermediaries such as political consultants.

Twitter no longer allows political advertising as of November 2019.

This is hardly the first time Big Tech giants have had run-ins with Attorney General Ferguson. A press release dated December of 2018 announced that Google and Facebook would need to pay a combined $455,000 for their own failure to keep proper records of political advertising for Washington candidates and committees.

And just earlier this year in April, Ferguson sued Facebook a second time for the same offense. Facebook tried to dismiss the lawsuit but was unsuccessful.

There seems to be a pattern here. Bob Ferguson may be a Democrat, but we commend him for doing his duty and ensuring that Big Tech follows his state’s campaign finance laws. Lawsuits like these will hopefully keep these behemoths from continuing to try to flout the law. They rake in absurd amounts of money and are already too powerful as it is.

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