BNA Money and Politics Reports published an article this morning about a report prepared by the Maryland Attorney General’s Advisory Committee on Campaign Finance recommending greater authority for the State’s campaign finance authorities to regulate social media. The press release announcing the report can be found here.
Listed below are the social media recommendations from the press release:
Application to New Media
2. The General Assembly should enact legislation directing the State Board to adopt additional regulations in this area and to make recommendations to clarify how the State’s campaign finance laws apply to new media.
3. Additional disclosure requirements for candidates using new media may be appropriate, including reporting of sub-vendor information, to prevent covert campaigning by candidates and their committees through anonymous sources.
4. A new chapter of the State Board’s Campaign Finance Summary Guide should be drafted that specifically addresses issues related to new media.
Social media has become the modern day equivalent of the soap box in the town square for citizens and activist groups to voice their opinions about candidates, elected officials and their policy positions. Any new regulations must not chill political participation by grassroots activits through social media and other internet communications.