The FEC moves to regulate Facebook after all [The Interface]

Revue
 
The total lack of movement on the high-profile Honest Ads Act has made your humble newsletter writer
 

The Interface

November 17 · Issue #30 · View online
An evening newsletter about Facebook, social networks, and democracy.

The total lack of movement on the high-profile Honest Ads Act has made your humble newsletter writer pessimistic about any new regulations emerging from Congress on the subject of online advertising. And yet just after last night’s newsletter went to bed, a wild regulation appeared
The Federal Election Commission moved a step closer to placing tighter regulations on Internet ads published on major Web platforms, marking a significant shift for an agency beset by partisan dysfunction and another sign that regulators are seeking to thwart foreign meddling in U.S. elections.
All five members of the commission voted Thursday to start a rulemaking process to require disclaimers for small, character-limited political ads that run online on places such as Facebook, Google and Twitter.
The commissioners described working together to prevent foreign operatives from influencing American voters as a crucial priority. “Foreign interference in U.S. elections is inimical to our nation’s interests and democratic values,” said the Republican commissioners in a motion to advance the rulemaking process. “The need to prevent such interference is an issue that transcends partisan politics, and on which all Americans can agree.” 
At this point, no new rules have been written. Commissioners said they wanted to first wade through 100,000 or so comments left by Americans, or possibly Russian bot farms, on the subject of what to do. And perhaps the entire thing will be so watered down that the tech companies will effectively be left to regulate themselves.
Still, if you’re looking for signs that the federal government really does plan to crack down on Facebook & Co., here’s one.
Have a good weekend!

Democracy
Here’s How People In India Are Manipulating Twitter Trends To Spread Political Propaganda
Should Facebook Notify Readers When They’ve Been Fed Disinformation?
Elsewhere
YouTube terminates exploitive ‘kids’ channel ToyFreaks, says it’s tightening its child endangerment policies
Facebook Live Is the New QVC
Launches
Nothing launched today. Everyone was extremely lazy across the social media ecosystem.
Takes
There’s an Algorithmic Reason You Should Reply ‘Yes’ to Every Facebook Event
How Silicon Valley became “Big Tech.”
There’s a Digital Media Crash. But No One Will Say It
And finally
'Weird Twitter' icon @dril just got doxxed
Talk to me
Questions? Comments? Suggested regulations for Facebook? casey@theverge.com
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Carefully curated by Casey Newton with Revue.
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