Facebook, Google and Twitter shine light on campaign ads — but only so far

NBC News

A push this year by tech companies to open a window on the political ads that they sell has failed to satisfy lawmakers and researchers who worry that shadowy groups could still use the services to manipulate voters before an election.

Facebook, Google and Twitter all launched searchable databases this year that allow people to see details of election-related advertisements that run on theirs sites. People who visit the databases online can see videos and images from the ads, as well as spending data and, in theory, who is behind each of the ads.

“We’re in a much better place now in terms of transparency than we were two years ago, but there is a long way to go,” said Brendan Fischer, director of federal reform at the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington nonprofit that advocates for stricter campaign finance laws.

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