U.S. may need new law to address political advertising on social media sites

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 U.S. legislation may be needed to require social media companies to disclose more about how their platforms are used for political advertising, a senior Democratic lawmaker said Thursday, after new signs of Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election.

Facebook said Wednesday that an operation likely based in Russia had placed thousands of U.S. ads with polarizing views on topics such as immigration, race and gay rights on the site during a two-year period through May.

The world’s largest social network was already under fire for how little transparency it provides about digital political ads. Voters, researchers and journalists cannot see many of the ads politicians and interest groups run on Facebook to target certain groups, nor can they discover who paid for them.

Sen. Mark Warner said Congress may need to update laws in order to make them consistent with rules governing television advertising.

“An American can still figure out what the content is being used in TV advertising. You can go look at the ad,” Warner, of Virginia, said at a security conference.
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