Briefing

Facebook touts compliance as Google throws in the towel on government’s election bill

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The company announced Monday that it will establish an ad library, and will disclose advertisers’ identities in order to comply with Bill C-76. The law, which received royal assent in December 2018, requires online platforms to create a registry of all digital ads. Two weeks ago, Google announced it was banning political ads ahead of the the election in light of the new legislation. Facebook plans to have the library up and running by June. Meanwhile, Facebook said Monday that its aggregated news service—only available in some 400 U.S. cities and dubbed “Today In”—is being hindered by a lack of local news. (National Post)

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Talking point: There is a sharp difference in how the two largest companies impacted by this new legislation have chosen to comply with Bill C-76. “If Parliament had wanted us to ban political ads it would have passed a law that required that,” Kevin Chan, Facebook Canada’s head of public policy, told the media—a comment that all but points to Google’s announcement weeks ago. It’s not just Facebook. Bell, CBC, and Pelmorex told The Logic they will also comply with the new law and run political ads. While Canadian election ads are a drop in a bucket compared to the companies’ overall ad revenues, Facebook’s compliance with the new legislation looks like a move of good faith for a platform plagued by concerns surrounding its influence on past elections.