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Washington State Fines Google, Facebook for Political Ads, Lack of Transparency

© AP Photo / Paul SakumaA television photographer shoots the Like sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif
A television photographer shoots the Like sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif - Sputnik International
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In June, two lawsuits were filed which claimed that the tech giants hadn't obeyed Washington's political advertising disclosure laws, which forced the authorities impose an overall fine of $455,000.

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Wednesday that Google will face a fine of $217,000 and Facebook will pay $238,000 after the tech giants were accused of failing to comply with Washington's laws connected to the transparency of political announcements.

According to the lawsuits, over the last decade, Facebook and Google received about $5.1 million and $1.5 million in revenue related to political advertising, respectively, and the companies had breached the requirements regarding data collection, storage and publication introduced in 2013.

READ MORE: Facebook Bans Netanyahu's Son for a Day Over Anti-Muslim Posts

In response to the lawsuit, Google stopped taking purchases of political advertisements in the state of Washington and local elections.

Both Google and Facebook expressed their readiness to pay the fines but refused to admit their guilt, the statement noted.

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Commenting on the legislation, Ferguson noted that Washington's political advertising disclosure laws apply to everyone, no matter if it is "a small-town newspaper or a large corporation".

The verdict comes after on June 4, Attorney General of the US state of Washington Bob Ferguson filed two campaign finance lawsuits in King County Superior Court accusing the companies of violating the state's campaign finance laws, which say that information about those who buy such advertising needs to be maintained and made available to the public.

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