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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Matthew WilsonI am going to pax east, any games you guys want me to check out?03/02/2015 - 11:23pm
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PHX Corphttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZQDFO2KEPo Jim Sterling Makes Fun of "Cinematic" Gaming03/02/2015 - 3:39pm
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Papa MidnightHas anyone been following this petition by Mark Kern regarding Kotaku, Polygon, and VG247? https://www.change.org/p/kotaku-lead-the-way-in-healing-the-rift-in-video-games03/02/2015 - 11:38am
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MonteThough from a business side, i would agree with the article. While it would be smarter for developers to slow down, you can't expect EA, Activision or ubisoft to do something like that. Nintnedo's gotta get the third party back.02/28/2015 - 4:36pm
MonteThough it does also help that nintendo's more colorful style is a lot less reliant on graphics than more realistic games. Wind Waker is over 10 years old and still looks good for its age.02/28/2015 - 4:33pm
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MonteON third party developers; i kinda think they should slow down to nintendo's pace. They bemoan the rising costs of AAA gaming, but then constantly push for the best graphics which is makes up a lot of those costs. Be easier to afford if they held back02/28/2015 - 4:27pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2015/02/28/the-world-is-nintendos-if-only-theyd-take-it/ I think this is a interesting op-ed, but yeah it kind of is stating the obvious.02/28/2015 - 2:52pm
prh99The government probably doesn't need an app, but I was think more along the lines of a company that was going to sell the collected info. “If you're not paying for the product, you are the product” sometimes even if you pay.02/28/2015 - 1:50pm
 

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