California Politicians Who Use Twitter, Facebook Could Face New Rules

California Politicians Who Use Twitter, Facebook Could Face New Rules

The state Fair Political Practices Commission is considering new guidelines that would treat politicians' tweets, Facebook status updates and other social-medial communications as it does other campaign marketing, which is subject to disclosure rules about who is behind the message.

"Our goal here is to meet the new challenges of 21st Century technology," FPPC Chaiman Dan Schnur told Associated Press. "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 proposed new stance for social-networking communication could be considered by the commission in mid-August. The state's Political Reform Act is 36-years-old (PDF) and did not anticipate politicians announcing their candidacies via these new media.

At least one voice opposes such regulation: State Republican party Vice Chairman Jon Fleischman said such rules would hinder free speech.


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