Board of elections considers website rules
The State Board of Elections is set to vote Thursday on first-ever regulations governing the use of Facebook, Twitter and other social networking websites by political candidates, campaigns and parties.
A yes vote, followed by approval in the General Assembly, would make Maryland one of the first states with such rules. Similar efforts elsewhere, as Annie Linskey writes, have met with opposition.
"I've seen references to the Internet being viewed as the Wild West of campaigns," Sean Parnell, president of the Center for Competitive Politics, tells Linskey. "We think that is healthy."
Parnell calls rules that would force a campaign to register a website with a state election authority "very dangerous territory." He says viewers ought to be able to determine on their own whether a site is official or not.
But Sean Kibby, a recent University of Maryland graduate who helped Republican state senators set up Facebook and Twitter accounts this year, says it is "probably a good idea" for some regulation.
Kibby says citizens "need an avenue" to help them determine whether an account is official.