Facebook Political Ads May Not Need Extra Disclosure

By Jennifer Moire Comment

Facebook got an answer, in a way, from the Federal Elections Commission this week regarding a request exempting the social networking site from carrying a disclaimer about who paid for those small-text political ads that are gaining in popularity as the 2012 elections approach.

Facebook first asked the FEC for an exemption from these disclosures in April.

The social network’s request got bipartisan support from the campaign committees for both major political parties.

At a meeting Wednesday, the FEC discussed considered the issue and did not take action, meaning that existing rules governing ad disclosures for online advertisers would remain in effect. As a result, there is no guidance from the regulatory agency given to Facebook or any other online advertising sites.

The Hill quoted an unnamed Facebook’s spokesperson saying:

We’re pleased that the FEC commissioners have agreed that people can continue to buy and run political ads on Facebook as they have been. We look forward to continued conversations with the FEC about these important issues.

Facebook will continue to sell ads to candidates and campaigns, with the disclosure appearing on the landing page as it does for other online ad networks, such as Google, which made its own request to the FEC in October.

The crop of current presidential candidates, including President Obama’s 2012 reelection effort, are already taking advantage of Facebook ads.

Readers, do you think Facebook ads for political campaigns should receive any type of exemptions?