FEC's New Digital Ad Disclaimer Rules

Insights from Fetterman, TikTok, and DNC Tech team

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FEC Finally Comes Up With Rules for Digital DisclaimersCampaignsAndElections.com"Part of the reason why this rule change has taken so long (read: more than a decade) is because technology has been outpacing the deliberations of the FEC. So the Commission had to ponder its decision as technology changed rapidly in the outside world."💬

FEC expands digital ad disclosure rules, but watchdogs say gaps remainWashingtonPost.com"The omitted language could expressly cover instances where campaigns pay a third party to promote their posts, such as an influencer or a grass-roots organizer sharing a video. It may also catch cases where they pay sites to get more reach on their posts rather than taking out ads." 💬


Middle Seat x John Fetterman: Flipping a U.S. Senate Seat from Red to BlueMedium.com"We wrote long-form, personal narratives that told the stories of John, his family, his tattoos, and his western Pennsylvania roots, really driving home his personal narrative and message. We ran ads that stayed true to John and his brand. Our email, texting, and ads programs respected John’s supporters as much as he did — meaning no cheap gimmicks or coercive fundraising asks."💬

Ron DeSantis is building his own media in FloridaSemafor.com"Over the last year, DeSantis has given just a handful of interviews. Almost all of them have been with Fox News primetime or morning hosts or major conservative podcasters. But he’s also carved out time for the Florida Standard and a similar site called Florida’s Voice, which launched in 2021."


Balancing the Art of Merch and Digital CampaigningCampaignsAndElections.com"It’s something that’s really purposeful and goes beyond just a slogan or a logo — that can really work well to engage people. It can be a poster they can hang up and look back on, however many years from now, and see what the ideals were that we represented."💬


Elections in Modi’s home state have become a WhatsApp spam warRestOfWorld.org"Shukla decides the topic of the content that will be circulated across more than 50,000 WhatsApp groups in the state throughout the day. On some days, those topics are related to the BJP’s campaigns or election manifesto; on other days, they are focused on combating the narratives being publicized by the opposition."

Social Media

Filling the Progressive TikTok GapMedium.com"No one knows best practices. Ten of our 13 grantees, including TikTok veterans with thousands of followers, cited access to best practices on creator recruitment, content production, or metrics for political programs as the most significant area where they needed support. The fact that even grantees with a significant following feel cut off from basic knowledge about leveraging TikTok is a canary in the coal mine for everyone else."💬

Social Media Seen as Mostly Good for Democracy Across Many Nations, But U.S. is a Major OutlierPewResearch.org"There are substantial cross-national differences on this question, however, and the United States is a clear outlier: Just 34% of U.S. adults think social media has been good for democracy, while 64% say it has had a bad impact. In fact, the U.S. is an outlier on a number of measures, with larger shares of Americans seeing social media as divisive."💬


Reflecting on DNC Tech in 2022Medium.com"There is sometimes an urge to valorize a piece of technology — a new social media site, an app, an algorithm, etc. — as “changing the game.” This is almost always a red herring. What matters is what people do with that technology, how it serves the needs of users, and how it advances the goals of the program."💬

New campaign tool: Monetizing friendsAxios.com"Pioneered during the 2021 Senate runoffs in Georgia, Relentless and a partner technology firm, Rally, say the tactic boosted turnout in that race by 3.8% among voters in its "relational network.""💬