McCain Honest Ads Act looks to regulate online political ads

Republican Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) is teaming with Democratic Sens. Mark Warner (Va.) and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) to introduce the Honest Ads Act that would increase disclosure requirements for online political ads in response to last year's election interference.

According to a preview of the act seen by Axios, it would amend the current Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 to include paid internet and digital advertisements as electioneering communication.

It would also require online platforms, such as Facebook, "to make reasonable efforts to ensure that foreign individuals and entities are not purchasing political advertisements in order to influence the American electorate."

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If it's from John MaCain so it's got be bad.  This wrong on so many levels:

  • The internet is too diverse to put out a blanket regulation.  This will not unenforceable
  • How are you going to really stop foreign governments from setting up shell PAC's to put these out?  YouTube's contents system is failing left and right.  Fair Use content is constantly getting demonetized while content that clearly violate their guidelines are pushed to the top of play lists.
  • 'require online platforms, such as Facebook, "to make reasonable efforts' – Aren't internet content providers already doing that and 'fake newers' are still getting through?  What is going to change in the next year or two when the next major election cycle begins?
  • Who decides what is fake?  I thought in this post-modern Common Core world everything is relevant. Does that mean there is a hard and fast truth out there? Who watches the watchers?

Here is my fixes:

  • Make ANYONE displaying a fake news video liable for $100 / view.
  • If a video or written is removed as 'fake news' and is proved as not being fake new with specific dates and other facts then the plaintiff must be rewarded no less than $100,000 per take down all rights on that site are fully reinstated back to the point of the offence
  • If your service does not offer a default-able 'unfiltered' feed with only your subscribed to channels and friends showing up within 2 years then you will get fined $1 / person / day until that option is viable.

If the content providers want to act like a utility they're getting regulated like a utility, Otherwise the government need to get out of my browser and let the ecosystem filter itself out.