Opinon: Sources of online political ads should be disclosed
EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.
WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - Twitter. Facebook. Google.
Millions of people use these platforms every day as a means to connect with the world around them.
Social media has also become an effective way for campaigns to reach potential voters.
However, that comes with its own set of challenges.
During the 2016 election, it was found that fake online accounts pushed -- you guessed it -- fake news. Political ads were also disguised as regular content.
In an effort to ensure this does not happen again in the future, there is now a bipartisan push to have more transparency when it comes to political ads online.
The Honest Ads Act, introduced by Sen. Warner of Virginia, Sen. McCain of Arizona and Sen. Klobuchar of Minnesota, calls for social media companies to make clear who is purchasing political ads. So, for example, if a foreign entity bought political ads, that would be disclosed.
The key point here is that the internet needs to be held to the same standards as television and radio.
Representatives from Twitter, Facebook and Google are on Capitol Hill this week to answer questions about the 2016 election political ads.
These companies have been hesitant in the past to admit the role they play in campaigns, but Facebook recently announced that it will now start disclosing more about political ads that run on the site.
Here’s the bottom line: we live in a new world. A huge percentage of political news and information is transmitted through online channels. Voters deserve the opportunity to be able to distinguish the type, the credibility and the intent of the content they see online.