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View Diary: California starts regulating political blogging. Why? (124 comments)

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  •  That's crap (2+ / 0-)
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    hooper, ceebee7

    It happens all the time on television and almost never is called out in any way. I recall reading that well over half of the 'military experts' on during a specific month on all of the channels being monitored turned out to have unstated conflicts of interest, but they were never pointed out by anyone except a study, and nothing happened when they were revealed, not even a decrease in those specific people's appearances. Just for one example.

    However, I will say, in response to the diarist:

    1. What, exactly, is the problem that this is intended to solve? Has California state and local politics been overrun by covert, deceptive online activity? Are citizens bamboozled on a regular basis?
    Actually, yes. I personally have tracked down the sources for three separate 'grassroots' alerts sent out to California residents (links were emailed out and posted far and wide in blog comments, and in blog articles, to advertise a blog/web site). Because the people doing this aren't fully tech-savvy yet, you can often find out information about domains, and trace ownership of them back to the group paying for them, even if the site/blog/whatever claims a different source. I don't know if this is a 'California' thing or not, but we very frequently end up with fake grassroots stuff being funded in precisely that way.

    Of the three I tracked down, this would only affect one, because the other two were not funded by 'campaigns' as such. But it might be a step in the right direction. If only they'd do it for traditional media as well.

    •  If that is so (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Old Sailor

      then doesn't it stand to reason that over time people will either turn to online sources for their information or be more willing to frequent non-online sources that do a better job at disclosure than others, just to retain their credibility.  Its not as if the law is coming down on one side or the other of any issue with respect to content.

      I think such regulations push political discourse in the right direction.  No one is arguing that somethings can not be said, but rather if you are paid to say them, that needs to be disclosed.  Obviously, the precise wording of the disclosure might vary depending on the precise roll for which services are being rendered (ie accounting, webhosting, direct paid, campaign staff, etc.).  What is wrong with making our political dialog honest?  More importantly, don't we give up our freedom if the political market place is distorted to the point no one knows who is paying for what, except the elite few doing all the manipulating?  

    •  Just partisan-wise, wouldn't you think the Right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Old Sailor

      would pay many more moles than the Left?  They have infinitely more money.

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