New Social Media Rules For Maryland Campaigns

Yesterday, Maryland lawmakers voted to regulate political campaigning on social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, The Baltimore Sun reports.

Starting two weeks from now, candidates must begin including an authority line — a declaration of approval that lists their campaign treasurer — on the social networking sites run by their campaigns.

The more than 700 people who have filed to run for statewide office, as well as hundreds of candidates for local posts, will soon receive information in the mail explaining the new social media policies, elections officials said.

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Maryland’s new rules also provide clarity on what a candidate must do if he or she wants to purchase an online ad with Facebook or Google or another provider. If the ad is too small to include the full authority line — which it often is — candidates will need to include a link to their official campaign site.

The Maryland General Assembly’s joint committee on administrative, executive, and legislative review heard testimony and then voted 11-to-1 to approve the emergency regulations.

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