In the aftermath of a 2016 election marred by Russian online meddling, federal officials responsible for enforcing campaign finance rules have grappled with how to strengthen internet political advertising rules to enhance transparency and defend against foreign interference.
But on Thursday, at the end of a two-day public hearing the Federal Election Commission convened on internet political ads, it’s still unclear what concrete changes will occur — if any at all.
FEC Chairwoman Caroline Hunter, R, said she thinks it’s “not likely” that the commission will roll out new online political ad rules in time for the November midterm elections.
Vice Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub, D, said her goal is to have a “better” rule in place in time for the election — "I continue to believe that is doable."
Federal Election Commission commissioners agreed in principle that online political ad rules need an update — the commission last comprehensively revised its rules governing internet disclaimers back in 2006, when MySpace dominated social media and Twitter was in its first days of operation.
But commissioners diverged on the minute details of how such a disclaimer should be formatted and whether the commission can move fast enough to implement rules before the election.