California Considers Regulating Internet Political Speech

August 5, 2010 -

Political tweets and Facebook status updates should be held to the same standards as paid advertising that voters see on television, radio or in Californian's mailboxes, says California's campaign watchdog agency, The Fair Political Practices Commission, in a report being released Monday. The Fair Political Practices Commission is considering how to regulate "new forms of political activity" on Facebook or in a text message.

"It's become necessary as politicians in California and elsewhere announce their candidacies and major campaign policies through Twitter, YouTube and a host of social networking sites," said FPPC Chairman Dan Schnur. He also added that California's 36-year-old Political Reform Act needs a modern-day re-write to keep up with the times.

"Our goal here is to meet the new challenges of 21st Century technology," Schnur said. "There's no way that the authors of the act could have anticipated that these of types of communicating a campaign message would ever exist."

The report reportedly outlines possible hurdles to regulating such online content, like how one would include full disclosure of what group or individual is behind a political message. The changes the commission makes to state law would have to give regulators the flexibility to respond to swiftly evolving technologies, the report says.

The commission will tackle the contents of the report at its Aug. 12 meeting. Even if the five-member commission orders its staff to propose new regulations or legal changes to address new types of political messages, it will probably be months before they take effect.

The report does draw the line when it comes to the right of regular citezens to tweet or use Facebook to talk about politics or politicians:

"People tweeting about someone is typically not something you would regulate," said Barbara O'Connor, professor emeritus of communications and the former director of the Institute for the Study of Politics and Media at California State University, Sacramento. "When it becomes an ad, it's a different story. When it becomes an ad it really is a replacement for a 30-second spot for a new generation."

Like California's current regulations, federal campaign watchdogs really only regulate paid political advertising, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Source: SFGate


Comments

Re: California Considers Regulating Internet Political ...

It is there something that California don´t want to ban? Seriously. Looks more and more like Texas.

------------------------------------------------------------ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

Re: California Considers Regulating Internet Political ...

Really? Texas bans things? News to me, and I've been living here for about 15 years.

Re: California Considers Regulating Internet Political ...

You just haven't heard about it because they removed any references to it from your history book.

Re: California Considers Regulating Internet Political ...

It's not about banning free speech.  Try reading it again.

Re: California Considers Regulating Internet Political ...

I read twice and I still don´t like it. I think it is something that can be abused.

------------------------------------------------------------ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

Re: California Considers Regulating Internet Political ...

Fortunately, there is no way at all for anyone to abuse unregulated paid political advertising.

Re: California Considers Regulating PAID Internet PoliticalSpeec

Bit misleading, between the headline and the image.  Looks like all they're talking about is applying disclosure rules to PAID political speech on the Internet -- which is a relevant conversation, given the very next post where Pete Gallagher talks about lobbyist influence in politics.

Re: California Considers Regulating PAID Internet ...

True.  I started reading the article under the assumption that it had to do with banning political speech, which is not the case.  It actually is a real issue to consider in the new information age, one that probably doesn't have an easy answer.

Re: California Considers Regulating PAID Internet ...

Right.  As the article notes, you can't exactly slap a disclaimer on a tweet.

 
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MechaCrashI am reminded of the saying about playing chess with a pigeon.08/01/2015 - 11:13am
Andrew EisenThis is supported by, well, what actually happened, but also the text of the actual leaks. That was Tito's question and what he and a few (four total, I think) were discussing.08/01/2015 - 11:11am
Andrew EisenNo, it's not. What was generally prohibited was not discussion of journalistic ethics or other GamerGate topics, but threads that were, for example, discussing the sex life of an indie developer. THOSE are what were locked and removed.08/01/2015 - 11:10am
Goth_SkunkI don't believe you. Not for a second. Every major site with the exception of the Escapist prohibited discussion of GamerGate in its early stages. That is a fact.08/01/2015 - 11:04am
Andrew EisenNo, that's a fact. Don't believe me, read 'em yourself. No one was trying to censor discussion of GamerGate.08/01/2015 - 11:02am
Goth_Skunk@Andrew: That's your opinion.08/01/2015 - 10:57am
Goth_Skunkfuture? I'd compensate you for your time, of course.08/01/2015 - 10:57am
Goth_Skunk@IronPatriot: Congratulations on a sweeping statement to remove the agency of people supporting GamerGate for their own individual reasons. Since you're so good at painting in such broad strokes, are you free to paint my apartment sometime in the near08/01/2015 - 10:57am
Andrew EisenWhich, as you can tell by actually reading the snippets that were leaked, is a shamefully disingenuous telling of what was actually said.08/01/2015 - 10:56am
Goth_SkunkAdditionally, to quote William Usher, "[s]ome of the members on that list actively used their platform to support and propagate a wide-sweeping media narrative based on lies and factual inaccuracies."08/01/2015 - 10:54am
Goth_Skunkthe forums of The Escapist. Thankfully, they were both unsuccessful.08/01/2015 - 10:53am
Goth_SkunkOf the "Gamers Are Dead" articles specifically, no. But the list was used to try and censor discussion about GamerGate in its early stages. Ben Kuchera and our own James Fudge used it to solicit to Escapist then EiC Greg Tito to prevent discussion on08/01/2015 - 10:53am
IronPatriotCraig, you are right that gamergate is utter hypocrisy. Any story about it which lacks the context of gamergate's harassment origins FAILS ethics in journalism. LOL.08/01/2015 - 10:49am
IronPatriot@Goth_Skunk "citation needed"? Citation provided! Gamergate was created by 4chan harassers and ethics #ISyourShield08/01/2015 - 10:48am
Craig R.IP: Plenty of irony to go around with GG. But really, it's complete hypocrisy.08/01/2015 - 10:48am
Andrew EisenIf that assertion were true, it's nigh unfathomable that that conversation was not one of the ones leaked and published on Breitbart. Plus, as I pointed out earlier, only TWO of the Gamers Are Dead authors were on the Game Journo Pros list anyway.08/01/2015 - 10:48am
Craig R.Looks like he is, Andrew. Tinfoil wonders never cease.08/01/2015 - 10:45am
Non-entityAndrew: that's exactly what GamerGate has been claiming, yes. Private discussion groups apparently equal conspiracy.08/01/2015 - 10:44am
Andrew EisenGoth - Wait, wait, wait. Are you suggesting that the Gamers Are Dead articles are the result of a coordinated effort organized on the Game Journo Pros group?08/01/2015 - 10:38am
IronPatriotGamergate's private "interest" is harassing women. Their public lie is about "ethics"08/01/2015 - 10:36am
 

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