Trevor Potter Statement on Facebook's Release of Russia-Sponsored Campaign Ads


Trevor Potter, President of Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and a former Republican Chairman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), released the following statement responding to news reports of Facebook releasing Russia-sponsored campaign advertisements to Congress:

“American voters have a powerful and compelling interest in knowing who is seeking to influence their vote. Facebook agreeing to turn over copies of Russia-linked ads to Senate and House intelligence committees is a step in the right direction, but not nearly far enough. Public disclosure of all information related to these 3,000 advertisements is necessary so that all of us can understand how this occurred, and so we can ensure that policies – both at Facebook and from the government – are in place to ensure this does not happen again."

“Facebook also announced that, moving forward, it would take steps to help users obtain more information about who is putting ads on its platform. For years, Facebook has pressured the FEC not to extend existing disclaimer requirements to online political ads, which helped create the secrecy that gave rise to foreign interference in the 2016 elections. Many ads on Facebook did not comply with current FEC regulations on such disclaimers even though Facebook was unable to obtain an FEC exemption from that requirement. We will carefully monitor Facebook’s implementation of this new policy, and hope that Facebook will submit written comments to the FEC next month assisting the agency in drafting and enforcing reasonable disclaimer rules for all digital political ads run on any online platform.”

Read the letter CLC sent to Facebook.