Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, was fined $24.7 million on Wednesday for “repeatedly and intentionally” violating campaign finance disclosure law.
King County Superior Court Judge Douglass North in Washington state ruled Meta be fined the maximum amount allowed for over 800 violations of Washington’s Fair Campaign Practices Act the company committed.
The ruling is said to be the largest campaign finance penalty in U.S. history.
Essentially, Meta was purposely refusing to make public the names and addresses of individuals and groups purchasing political ads, the target demographic of the ads, who paid for the ads and the total number of views each ad received.
This has long been a standard practice with television networks and newspapers.
The Attorney General of Washington state, Bob Ferguson, said Meta “intentionally disregarded Washington’s election transparency laws” and that the company even “argued in court that those laws should be declared unconstitutional.”
“That’s breathtaking,” he declared, asking, “Where’s the corporate responsibility?”
Keep in mind, this is only one state where the company has been sued and several other states have similar election laws.
The large fine also comes as Meta’s stock shares plummeted a whopping 23% since the NYSE closed Tuesday.