Judge Fines Meta Nearly $25 Million for Campaign Finance Law Violations

October 27th, 2022 7:54 PM

A reckoning seems to have come for Meta after CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recent admission that the FBI pressured Facebook to censor in the leadup to the 2020 elections. Meta ultimately censored the Hunter Biden laptop story following pressure from the FBI.

In August, NewsBusters reported that the Meta CEO told podcast host Joe Rogan that the FBI compelled Facebook to censor content before the 2020 election. This week, the company was fined nearly $25 million for campaign finance disclosure violations.

In an order signed Wednesday, King County Superior Court Judge Douglass North fined Meta after he ruled in September that it intentionally violated Washington's Fair Campaign Practices Act over 800 times since 2018.

The state’s transparency law requires Meta to make the names and addresses of those who buy political ads public.

The enormous penalty was the maximum allowed for the violations and is reportedly the largest campaign finance fine in the history of the United States.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said the company deserved the maximum penalty for its continued “arrogance.”

"I have one word for Facebook's conduct in this case — arrogance," Ferguson said in a press release. "It intentionally disregarded Washington's election transparency laws. But that wasn't enough. Facebook argued in court that those laws should be declared unconstitutional. That's breathtaking. Where's the corporate responsibility?"

For its part, Meta has one month to comply with the law and pay the fine. The judge also ordered Meta to pay costs and attorneys’ fees.

Facebook has a troubling history of censorship during election season in the United States. In 2021, the platform “indefinitely” suspended then-President Donald J. Trump after Zuckerberg accused him of provoking “violence” during the Jan. 6 riot in Washington D.C.

Last month, Facebook announced that it would increase suppression of so-called “election misinformation” during the 2022 election season. The platform said it will have a “dedicated team focused on the 2022 midterms to help combat election and voter interference.”

Conservatives are under attack. Contact Facebook headquarters at (650) 308-7300 and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment. If you have been censored, contact us using CensorTrack’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.