WND reported: Obama FEC Vice Chairperson Ann M. Ravel announced late on Friday that the FEC was preparing new regulations to give itself control over videos, Internet-based political campaigns, and other content on the web.
She insisted that, “A reexamination of the commission’s approach to the internet and other emerging technologies is long overdue.”
This snap decision came after the FEC deadlocked 3-3 over whether or not an anti-Obama Internet campaign in Ohio had violated FEC campaign disclosure rules. The videos were placed for free on YouTube and were not paid advertising, but they also did not disclose who made them.
Until now, videos and other political content that is not posted for a fee are unregulated by the FEC. Only paid advertising is regulated under election rules. It is this that the Democrats want to change.
The Washington Examiner wrote:
Under a 2006 FEC rule, free political videos and advocacy sites have been free of regulation in a bid to boost voter participation in politics. Only Internet videos that are placed for a fee on websites, such as the Washington Examiner, are regulated just like normal TV ads.
Ravel’s statement suggests that she would regulate right-leaning groups like America Rising that posts anti-Democrat YouTube videos on its website.
FEC Chairman Lee E. Goodman, a Republican, said if regulation extends that far, then anybody who writes a political blog, runs a politically active news site or even chat room could be regulated. He added that funny internet campaigns like “Obama Girl,” and “Jib Jab” would also face regulations.
Ravel plans to hold meetings next year to discuss regulating the internet. She charged that groups placing paid TV ads use the FEC exemption to disseminate similar messages on the internet, regulation free. But Goodman says that Ravel misconceives the exemption. If the same message that is run on TV also is posted online, it is regulated, he said. The Internet exemption applies only to videos posted for free, solely on the Internet.
Blasting the exemption, she said, “Since its inception this effort to protect individual bloggers and online commentators has been stretched to cover slickly-produced ads aired solely on the Internet but paid for by the same organizations and the same large contributors as the actual ads aired on TV,” Ravel argued.
It’s no secret that college students are increasingly unplugged from news, but a study finds that when made aware of an interesting story, they prefer to verify it online through sites like Drudge Report.
“Of all the ways [students] get their news seems to indicate that they prefer nontraditional outlets, Drudge Report, Huffington Post, podcasts, to any other form,” said the survey of 417 college students and their use of mobile technology published in the scholarly journal Electronic News.
The June survey, provided to Secrets, found that a driving factor is that students trust sites run by those they know, or feel they know, and who they consider part of their online media family. The survey sits behind a paywall.
The study is bad news for big outfits including Fox and the New York Times. “Participants prefer to get their social media news from individuals, journalists, friends they know, people they’ve heard of, rather than organizations, even if they are established news organizations,” the study said
Read more at: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/student-go-to-drudge-huffpost/article/2555168
Paul Bedard of the Washinton Examiner :
Digital users reached a new peak in August, with 164 million unique visitors recorded on newspaper sites, an 18 percent increase from last August. That’s about half of the U.S. population of 313 million. And 38 percent of digital readers chose mobile devices, higher than any other tool, said the association. Some 34 percent read online with a desktop or laptop, and 28 percent use both mobile and larger computers to “engage with newspaper digital content.”
— Eight in 10 (80%) of U.S. adults who were online in August accessed newspaper digital content, also a new peak.
— Over the past year, young women (ages 18-24) were the fastest-growing segment of the newspaper digital audience, rising 38%.
— More than nine in 10 (92%) women ages 25-34 read newspaper digital content, the greatest reach among any age or gender
Goodman and the other Republicans on the FEC said the proposed regulations would chill political speech on the Internet. Current regulations that permit free political speech online are working, they say, and should not be tampered with. “This freedom has gained wide acceptance, as evidenced by the hundreds of thousands of political videos, websites, blogs and other social media posted on the Internet without so much as an inquiry by the Commission,” the Republicans wrote in a statement. “Regrettably, the 3-to-3 vote in this matter suggests a desire to retreat from these important protections for online political speech — a shift in course that could threaten the continued development of the Internet’s virtual free marketplace of political ideas and democratic debate.”
Read more at: http://www.examiner.com/article/dems-on-fec-set-to-regulate-online-political-speech-blogs-news-sites