Twitter Disclosure: Regulating Electronic Campaign Material?

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, October 19, 2009
The Fair Political Practices Commission has formed a special sub-committee. Its job is to figure out whether state regulations need an upgrade to adapt to the world of electronic campaigning. F-P-P-C Chairman Ross Johnson says it’s not just TV ads and mailers anymore – but the public is still entitled to know who’s paying:
“I believe they have a right to know that and I think that this explosion in the new media makes it much more difficult to follow that today.”

The committee will hold public hearings on the issue. Johnson says there will be all sorts of challenges – especially with some of the social networking sites, like Twitter:
“The disclosure requirements if you’re tweeting will take up the entire message, so how do we address that as an example.”

Johnson says the goal is not to regulate everyday tweeting - it’s the organized campaigns that are already under the F-P-P-C’s purview that are being discussed. Johnson hopes to have recommendations by next summer.