FEC Rules US Citizens Living Abroad Can Purchase Online Political Ads
WASHINGTON – The Federal Elections Commission has ruled that U.S. citizens living abroad can purchase political advertisements pertaining to elections in the United States.
The agency handed down the ruling in the case of Jean-Marc Bertrand, who seeks to encourage voters to support third party presidential candidates via Facebook ads.
Facebook requires those who purchase ads to provide a U.S. address and to make payments from a U.S. bank account. Since Bertrand had neither, he was precluded from purchasing the advertising he wanted to buy during the 2020 election cycle.
But the FEC said Tuesday that neither the Federal Elections Campaign Act nor Commission regulations require Bertrand to provide proof of holding a U.S. bank account or having a U.S. residential address to a social media platform as a prerequisite to his purchasing political advertisements on such platforms.
“As a general matter, the Commission has encouraged commercial entities to adopt screening procedures to avoid contributions or expenditures from foreign nationals and other prohibited sources,” the FEC said. “The Commission has not had occasion to review the particular screening procedures adopted by Facebook and expresses no views on those procedures.”
The agency went on to say that its advisory opinion does not weigh in on Bertrand’s citizenship — a fact “assumed by the Commission” it said – nor did it “relieve any entity of its obligation to comply with the Act and Commission regulations.
It also said it declined Bertrand’s request to determine whether Facebook should impose identical requirements on residents and non-resident U.S. citizens purchasing advertising content, saying that was a general question of interpretation beyond the scope of an advisory opinion request.
In The News
NEW YORK (AP) — The Associated Press' recent firing of a young reporter for what she said on Twitter has somewhat unexpectedly turned company and industry attention to the flip side of social media engagement — the online abuse that many journalists face routinely. During internal... Read More
Donald Trump’s accounts on two of the world’s biggest social media platforms will be suspended for at least two years and will only be reinstated “if” conditions permit. The announcement from Facebook, which also applies to Instagram, comes just weeks after the independent Facebook Oversight Board... Read More
Facebook plans to end a contentious policy championed by CEO Mark Zuckerberg that exempted politicians from certain moderation rules on its site, according to several news reports. The company's rationale for that policy held that the speech of political leaders is inherently newsworthy and in the... Read More
MENLO PARK, Calif. — In an economic analysis of the company’s solar and wind projects that support its data centers across the nation, Facebook iterated its adherence to broader sustainability initiatives. As of last year, Facebook’s fleet of energy-intensive data centers are powered entirely by renewable... Read More
Facebook’s Oversight Board has upheld the social media platform’s suspension of former President Donald Trump’s Facebook account, but in doing so, it said the company failed to impose the penalty properly. “It is not permissible for Facebook to keep a user off the platform for an... Read More
WASHINGTON - Even after the call-to-arms of the Kenosha Guard militia group had been flagged on Facebook 450 times, it was not taken down because it did not “meet the standards” for removal, said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., at a Senate hearing on Tuesday. This led... Read More