The Facts

  • A state of Washington judge fined Meta — Facebook's parent company — $24.7M on Wednesday after the firm was found to have intentionally breached campaign finance laws hundreds of times.

  • King County Superior Court Judge Douglass North found that Meta violated Washington's Fair Campaign Practices Act 822 times, imposing the $30K maximum penalty for each violation.

The Spin

Narrative A

This wasn't an honest mistake or ignorance about Washington's state laws. Meta was well aware of the requirements and decided to ignore them. Hubris of this kind deserves the maximum penalty.

Narrative B

Meta spends billions of dollars making sure its platforms conform to electoral policies and safeguards — including transparency in political ads. However, Washington's law is almost impossible to comply with given the number of ads run on a social media site as large as Facebook.

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