Meta fined over $24 million for campaign finance violations
Meta was fined $30,000 for each of its 822 violations.
A Washington state judge fined Meta, the parent company of Facebook, $24.7 million for violating campaign finance disclosure law, the maximum penalty allowed for more than 800 violations of the law.
King County Superior Court Judge Douglass North issued the penalty Wednesday after Meta violated Washington’s 1972 Fair Campaign Practices Act, the Associated Press reported.
The law requires TV stations, newspapers and platforms such as Meta to publish the names and addresses of people who purchase political ads, who the ads are targeting, how the ads were funded and the number of views for each ad.
Meta argued the law was unconstitutional because it placed an undue burden on political speech and is "virtually impossible to fully comply with."
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, a Democrat, said Facebook "intentionally disregarded" the state's election transparency laws.
Each violation of the law may be punished by a fine of up to $10,000, but the penalties could be tripled if the judge finds it intentional. Meta was fined $30,000 for each of its 822 violations, which Ferguson said is the largest campaign finance-related fine ever given in the United States.