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    US Senators Demand That Existing Rules to Political Ads Are Applied Online

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    US Democratic Senators urged the Federal Election Commission (FEC) Monday to apply the same transparency criteria it uses for political advertisements on radio and television to online advertisements, in response to allegations that Russia attempted to influence the 2016 US presidential election by using political ads on social media platforms.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — A group of 15 US Democratic Senators urged the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in a press release on Monday to apply the same transparency criteria it uses for political advertisements on radio and television to online advertisements as well.

    "We believe the FEC can and should take immediate and decisive action to ensure parity between ads seen on the internet and those on television and radio," the senators said in the release.

    The senators noted that Monday is the last day of the month-long comments period to consider whether the FEC should extend to online advertisements the rules it currently applies to radio and television advertisements.

    The FEC exempts a large number of online advertisements from general requirements — such as disclaimers — about who is responsible for their content, the release said, adding that the action comes in response to allegations that Russia attempted to influence the 2016 US presidential election by placing political advertisements on Facebook, Twitter and Google.

    Earlier in October Twitter announced that they would no longer be allowing ads from Moscow-owned media outlets such as RT or Sputnik to run on their platforms, sparking a controversy over the reasoning behind this decision and whether it can be regarded as an attempted silencing of a media outlet. 

    The Senators, led by Mark Warner, Amy Klobuchar and Claire McCaskill, said in the release that the FEC must close loopholes that allow foreign adversaries to misinform the US electorate.

    Russia has repeatedly denied meddling in the 2016 US election, calling the accusations absurd and groundless.


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