Meta Fined $24.7 Million Over Campaign Finance Disclosure Violations

Oops, Meta’s bad year just got worse.

The tech company was just fined over $24 million for – wait for it – 844 (!) campaign finance violations.

The fine comes from King County Superior Court Judge Douglass North and was the maximum allowed for more than 800 violations of Washington’s Fair Campaign Practices Act.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson argued in favor of the maximum given the fact that Meta (at the time, Facebook) was sued for exactly this once before in 2018 (by Ferguson himself, no less).

Washington’s transparency law requires ad sellers (like Meta) to retain and make public the names and addresses of those who buy political ads, the target of such ads, how the ads were paid for and the total number of views for each ad. Ad sellers must provide the information to anyone who asks for it.

Meta has frequently objected to the requirements, calling the law unconstitutional. Their argument states that it, “unduly burdens political speech” and that it is “virtually impossible to fully comply with.”

In a press release, Ferguson said of this newest development, “I have one word for Facebook’s conduct in this case — arrogance. 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?”

While $24M is a drop in the bucket for Meta, it’s another thing piling on top of their extraordinarily awful financial year as the Metaverse continues to suck the life out of the tech giant.