Why We Require Rules Regulating Political Ads Online

We have long been calling for rules regulating political online and digital advertising. Beyond the privacy concerns, which are enormous, we fear that the same big-money driven politics will be played out online. The time to impose “free time” and campaign limits for digital political advertising is now (along with rules governing data collection and profiling). Here’s a quote about a new study on search and politics [our emphasis]

“With no restrictions on how much an individual or political action committee can spend buying search terms, and no record of who is buying the ads, the candidate with the most sound search strategy could end up swaying the remaining undecided voters and winning the 2008 election,” stated Kevin Lee, CEO and co-founder of Didit.”

Big money, I suggest, will change the way the Internet (and other digital media, inc. mobile web) as we know it operate.   We should be addressing this issue now, before–like our current corrupt system–it becomes a inextricable part our political culture.

Author: jeff

Jeff Chester is executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. A former journalist and filmmaker, Jeff's book on U.S. electronic media politics, entitled "Digital Destiny: New Media and the Future of Democracy" was published by The New Press in January 2007. He is now working on a new book about interactive advertising and the public interest.

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