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Editorial: Warner is right

Thank you, Senators Mark Warner (Virginia), Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota) and John McCain (Arizona). In an unusual act of bipartisanship, these senators have introduced the “Honest Ads Act” that would increase transparency on social media ads.

Need we say, “fake ads?” Those incendiary social media notices were traced to Russia. They tried in a sinister fashion to divide Americans through falsehoods and, it is said, worked successfully for the election of Donald Trump and against the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.

As we noted here before, broadcast and print ads are subject to stringent requirements: that they state they are paid advertisements, and who paid for them. Few online ads are subject to such laws and thus most of them do not state that they are, in fact, ads, or who paid for them.

Fair is fair. Adoption of this act would go a long way to putting social media campaigns on an equal footing with those carried in more traditional media. ...

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