Legislation & policy analysis

Momentum is gaining for the Honest Ads Act

Updated June 15, 2018. 

Republicans and Democrats in Congress continue to support the bipartisan, bicameral Honest Ads Act to begin protecting U.S. politics from foreign disinformation campaigns by implementing a disclosure system for paid, online political advertising closely modeled on longstanding Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules for paid advertising on television and radio. 

The Honest Ads Act (H.R. 4077) list of 20 current sponsors, as of June 15, 2018 includes:

Republicans Democrats
Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA)
Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL)
Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA) Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT)
Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA)
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA)
Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD)
Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL)
Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR)
Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)
Rep. David Young (R-IA) Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY)


In June, Issue One and the Campaign Legal Center, in conjunction with University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor Young Mie Kim and her team, Project DATA (Digital Ad Tracking & Analysis) published the results of a first-of-its-kind, peer-reviewed research study of Facebook political ads in the 2016 elections. It found that of the 228 groups that purchased political ads about hot-button issues in the weeks leading up to November’s election day, 121 were identified by Professor Kim and her team as “suspicious” — which means that there was no publicly available information about nearly half of the sponsors of Facebook ads featuring hot-button political issues in the weeks before the 2016 elections. 

To learn more, read an issue brief on the report, Issue One’s policy explainer or watch our segment on C-SPAN.