FEC Backs Down Internet Regulation

After feeling the public outrage coupled with Republican pressure on the commission, Democratic members of the Federal Election Commission assured there was no intent to propose internet regulations for political content.

Last year, Chairwoman Ann Ravel, a Democrat, suggested a “re-examination” of the agency’s approach political content on the Internet was “long overdue.” This comment sparked protest from both ends of the spectrum, Fox News details.

In her comments this week, Ravel promised there would be “no such regulation” to force creators of political content on Youtube to disclose spending like television and radio.

However, Rave’s comments belied the stance she took previously, when she had criticized Republican members for “turning a blind eye” to the influence of the Internet within politics regarding a recent case before the commission.

The case concerned whether a group which posted political pro-coal industry ads on YouTube should be subjected to financial reporting. The group had criticized Democrat lawmakers for not supporting coal mines. The case was ultimately dismissed after a vote fell along party lines, 3-3.

Republican Commissioner Lee Goodman warned the commission was actively exploring options for regulation of Internet content. He openly criticized Ravel for hiding her intentions and responded to Democratic promises that the debate is won “for now.”