Appeals Court Says First Amendment Limits Regulation of Online Political Advertising: Implications for Congress [January 10, 2020] [open pdf - 649KB]
From the Document: "The proliferation of online political advertising has sparked a national conversation about its perceived harms. Some have argued that online political ads are more likely than their offline counterparts to include false claims and facilitate foreign influence in U.S. elections. These criticisms have led to calls for more government regulation of online political advertising, and some government officials have responded to that call. For example, in June, the chair of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the federal entity that generally regulates political campaign communications, advanced a rule proposal that would require certain online political advertisements to contain attribution statements, known as 'disclaimers.' Another example is the Honest Ads Act, which would extend federal campaign finance law disclosure and disclaimer requirements to online platforms for paid internet and paid digital communications and would require online platforms to maintain a publicly available file of requests to purchase certain political advertising. That bill was incorporated into H.R. 1 (116th Cong.), which passed the House in March 2019, and has been reintroduced as a stand-alone bill in both the House and the Senate. While there have been few, if any, enacted federal laws focusing on online political advertisements, a number of states have passed legislation on this front."
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Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/