This dark money is largely unregulated, and no one in Washington is sounding the alarms.
You lost me fast and hard when you showed yourself to be a Mega-influencer for Deepstate.
Russia doesn't want to "harm our precious Democracy", whatever the fuck that means. Russia is happy to stand back and watch while we commit national suicide.
I can just imagine the reaction when these 'proper regulations' get into the hands of Donald Trump's minions. Or Rashida Tlaib. Or Bernie Sanders. I cannot fathom how you could regulate something like this and keep the regulatory system immune from political influence, which would be a cure worse than the disease.
I sympathize with the concerns here. And, it's great to raise awareness of these tactics, so we can all better consume media.
I don't see any (1st amendment, liberalism compatible) regulatory solution to preventing sponsored endorsements across the board. Sure, go ahead and apply normal campaign finance restrictions and disclosure requirements here, too. (That won't stop the Russians, though.)
In the short term I don't see other solutions either.
In the long term I'd want to see: social media platforms improving their detection of "inauthentic" behavior. (Saying X only b/c you are being paid to say it, without disclosing that you're being paid must be the paradigmatic case of inauthentic behavior.) I'd like to see them require disclosure (and flag content themselves). I see YouTube videos with these flags today, for example. And I'd like to see the platforms impose penalties for violation (platform bans, demonitization, etc.).
Finally, I'd like to see professional organizations and standards among social media influencers. OK, not all of them (that would be a farce in the context of social media influencers, whose product is lifestyle branding and not knowledge). But it may be possible for public intellectuals, science YouTubers, etc.. Influencers whose brand is at least in part sharing knowledge.
What these have in common is that we, the users/audience, must demand this of the platforms and of the influencers, and reward them for it when they deliver.