Maryland will regulate political ads on Facebook and other social media sites beginning July 1 after Gov. Larry Hogan allowed a bill to become law despite his reservations that the measure could be found unconstitutional, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Facebook officials called the law a “national model” and have been urging other states to approve the same measure. But a group representing Maryland news organizations, including The Baltimore Sun, believes the new regulations violate the First Amendment’s free-speech protections, The Sun said.

The bill, approved by the General Assembly in April, requires social media platforms and websites with significant traffic to track all political ads and record which users are being targeted. State election officials would be able to access that data to detect foreign interference or track bad actors.

The Republican governor, who relies heavily on Facebook to deliver political messages, could have chosen to veto the law but did not. In a letter to legislative leaders, Hogan wrote that he supported many of the law’s goals: documenting who is behind political ads on social media, barring foreign currency from use in Maryland elections and empowering the Board of Elections to investigate complaints about online ads or voter suppression.

More here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.