Sept. 19, 2017
Ann Ravel was quoted in an article on Quartz about Russia using Facebook to skew elections.
From the mid 2000s until last year, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) was locked in internal debates about the money being poured into political advertising and campaigning on the web, and how or even whether it should be disclosed. After all, the US had for decades held television broadcasters up to strict standards, dictating how sponsors of political advertisements should be identified, requiring television stations to ferret out which candidates third parties were working for, and forcing them to make public lists of such backers. Shouldn’t the internet be held to the same standards?
In October 2014, vice commissioner Ann M. Ravel wrote a statement (pdf) accusing the FEC of turning a “blind eye” to the growing force of the internet in politics, and explaining the reason she and two of her co-commissioners, all Democrats, had voted for more disclosure of funding of political material on the web: