Ann Ravel quoted in Wired, November 19, 2018
But the opacity of Concealed Online’s business also exposes a blind spot for Facebook and for the regulation of digital political ads in general, says Ann Ravel, a UC Berkeley law professor and former FEC commissioner under President Obama.
Despite all of the noise about protecting elections in Washington and Silicon Valley over the last two years, digital political ads remain largely unregulated. “The law doesn’t cover them,” she says. “My opinion is that it should. This is the essence of where campaigning has gone now.”
Ravel says Facebook’s archive is “not sufficient.” As the case of Concealed Online shows, Facebook’s database can tell you what entity placed the ad, but it reveals little about who’s really behind it. That’s an issue that’s hardly specific to Concealed Online.