On the heels of an election won largely with the help of conservative online media, liberal members of the Federal Election Commission are reviving efforts to regulate online free speech.
The FEC’s Democratic commissioners are arguing that outdated election media spending rules haven’t kept up with the advent of powerful social media platforms and websites that wield considerable clout with voters.
Using a Twitter account called altFEC, one of many “alt” Twitter handles created by government employees signaling resistance to the Trump agenda, the liberals highlighted a report from former member Ann Ravel.
Ravel’s report is critical of GOP commissioners voting against leftist FEC efforts.
The ex-commissioner’s pet project at the FEC was the attempted removal of certain exemptions that protect online political free speech.
“Political campaign strategies and activities continue to shift rapidly as the digital playing field expands in new and important ways.’ Voters consume information differently than they did even one or two election cycles ago,” Ravel said in a statement last year.
But her effort was quashed by critics worried that the FEC “re-examination” of political speech exemptions could lead to free speech restrictions on bloggers, average citizens and advocacy organizations.
In the series of tweets this week, the altFEC members signaled a looming revival of Ravel’s efforts.
“It means that the @FEC’s disclosure rules have not been updated for the era of YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter,” it said of GOP blocking efforts.