The Denver Post
Coffman sponsors bill seeking transparency
U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman has teamed up with a Washington state Democrat to sponsor a bill that seeks to boost transparency for online political advertisements and enact rules that are similar to those already in place for television and radio.
The Aurora Republican calls his Honest Ads Act a “common sense” measure to ensure the public knows where the political ads they consume are coming from.
“The American people deserve to know who’s paying for the ads they see on the internet just as much as they do the ads they see on TV or hear on the radio,” he said in a written statement.
The legislation comes on the heels of revelations that Russian-tied actors took out thousands of advertisements on Facebook and posted scores of tweets during the 2016 presidential election cycle. Congress is currently investigating those ads and their influence on President Donald Trump’s victory.
Coffman’s bill, which he co-sponsored with U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, DWashington, is a companion to one introduced Thursday by U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Mark Warner and John McCain.
Coffman and Kilmer’s legislation would require large digital platforms to maintain a publicly available file of all requests to run advertisements that cost more than $500 within a calendar year. Information in the file would include a description of the audience the advertisements target, the number of views generated, the dates and times of publication, the rates charged and the contract information of the purchaser.
The legislation would require digital publishers to ensure that foreign nationals are not purchasing advertisements in U.S. elections.