Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog

Campaign Finance Laws & YouTube (cont.)

A few weeks ago I was discussing "Campaign Finance Laws in the You Tube Age" and was wondering aloud whether current campaign finance regulations were sustainable in an age of user-generated content and viral videos. The Washington Post ponders that same question today in highlighting the impact of clever mock campaign ad mash-ups like this one about "Big Sister" Hillary Clinton, which already has roughly 1.5 million hits:

The Post story notes that "this ad's reach really blows up any notion that candidates and mainstream media outlets can control the campaign dialogue. Especially online." That's exactly right, but they don't go on to ask the next logical question about how Congress and the FEC are going to deal with the growing flood of online campaign ads and commentary during coming election cycles. Remember, stuff like this can be regulated when aired on traditional television and radio outlets in the days leading up to an election. I just don't see how current campaign finance regs and the Internet can co-exist in the long run. There's just no way regulators are going to be able to keep pace with all the activity out there.

posted by Adam Thierer @ 9:22 AM | Campaign Finance Law , Free Speech