Institute for Free Speech Statement on FEC Vote to Proceed with Internet Ad Rulemaking

March 15, 2018   •  By IFS Staff
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Preserving online speech freedom should be a priority for regulators

Alexandria, VA – Institute for Free Speech President David Keating released the following statement today regarding the Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning disclaimer mandates for online advertisements:

“The FEC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is a good start, and we commend the commissioners for working together to produce this draft for public comment.”

“While the two alternatives share much in common, there are some important differences. Alternative B does a far better job of carefully applying the law, respecting speakers’ rights, and allowing political speakers flexibility in crafting and publishing their messages.”

“Alternative A will be controversial because, if adopted, it would greatly hamper online video and audio ads, which are often shorter than broadcast ads. It would create a problem by burdening short video and audio ads with new, wordy disclaimers beyond those used today.”

“In any final rule, the Commission should strive to preserve the freedom that has allowed the Internet to flourish as an avenue for low-cost political speech and association. Regulations should be clear and flexible so that Americans can comply with the rules without compromising their First Amendment right to speak about candidates. Overregulating speech limits the ability of Americans to discuss, criticize, and ultimately improve their government.”

“We look forward to submitting comments that would improve this proposal.”

About the Institute for Free Speech

The Institute for Free Speech is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that promotes and defends the First Amendment rights to freely speak, assemble, publish, and petition the government. Originally known as the Center for Competitive Politics, it was founded in 2005 by Bradley A. Smith, a former Chairman of the Federal Election Commission. The Institute is the nation’s largest organization dedicated solely to protecting First Amendment political rights.

IFS Staff

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