Washington State Investigating Facebook and Google Over Political Ads

"Meanwhile, with Facebook continuing to sell ads to some Washington state candidates while other Washington state candidates who can't buy Facebook ads cry foul, cyber law expert Ryan Calo says concerned parties should be looking at the Federal Trade Commission's prohibition against "deceptive acts or practices."

Facebook claims that it bans local political ads in this state. Yet it sells them anyway. Calo, a lawyer and professor at the University of Washington, says this could trigger a kind of FTC enforcement action that Facebook wouldn't be able to block using its usual shield, Section 230.

"Were the FTC or a state attorney general to pursue Facebook for making a deceptive statement—namely, that the company doesn’t serve political ads in the State of Washington—then I don’t think Facebook should be able to invoke Section 230 c(1) or c(2) by way of defense," Calo wrote in a statement to The Stranger."