Do Facebook Political Ads Need To Disclose Funding?

Facebook's political advertisements don't have enough room to include disclosures of who paid for the ad, right?

Facebook’s political advertisements don’t have enough room to include disclosures of who paid for the ad, right?

That’s the gist of a 14-page letter that attorneys representing Facebook sent to the Federal Elections Commission, six days after President Barack Obama visited company headquarters to host a Town Hall.

Three attorneys from Perkins Coie represented Facebook in seeking this clarification from FEC Acting General Counsel Christopher Hughey and six of his associates.

Facebook argues that having to include the disclosures would disrupt the format of the site.

The FEC replied on May 5 asking whether the advertisement could link to an external webpage explaining who pad for the ad — a copy of that reply appears below this post.

Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes told us via email:

Facebook gives a wide range of candidates and causes a voice where they would otherwise not be able to afford one through more traditional political advertising. We encourage the FEC to consider these benefits and other fundamental differences between some online ad formats and newspaper and TV advertising.

In the mean time, readers, do you think political advertisements on Facebook need to include disclosures of who paid for the ads, via a link or otherwise?