Since you and more than 153,000 other CREDO members urged the FEC to demand disclosures on electoral internet ads, the FEC has started to develop new rules about paid online communication.
This is a huge step toward transparency and will help prevent Russians and other foreign actors from influencing American voters in future elections, but the FEC is again seeking comments. It is crucial that we speak out now to ensure that the most rigorous disclosure laws are put in place as soon as possible to prevent further interference in the 2018 election.1
Tell the FEC to require that online campaign ads make clear who is paying for them.
Just this week the Senate Intelligence Committee confirmed that Russians – under orders from Putin himself – interfered with the 2016 election with the goal of electing Trump.2 One of their tactics was purchasing internet ads targeted at American voters, who had no idea the content they saw was sponsored by foreign agents.3
As more and more information about how Russians interfered in the 2016 election emerges, it has become increasingly obvious that the FEC should require the most robust disclosure rules possible. In the 12 years since the FEC last updated its disclosure rules for online communication, the internet has been transformed. It is now the primary source of news for more than 65 percent of Americans.4 But the latest FEC proposals barely acknowledge that reality – and could be much stronger.
Here are just a few of the things the FEC should do:
- Apply the full disclaimer that is currently required for radio and television to internet ads with audio or visual elements
- Ensure that the funder of an ad is immediately transparent.
- Implement new rules immediately so that Russians have little opportunity to affect 2018 elections.
Make copies of all paid political internet messaging, with funders and target audience, available to the public.
The good news is the FEC is once again seeking public comment on its proposed changes, and CREDO is joining with Common Cause, Public Citizen and many other progressive partners to collect as many comments as possible before the May 25 deadline.
Tell the FEC to bring online campaign ads in line with television and print and require disclaimers that make clear who is paying for them.
Thanks for your activism.