April 06, 2005
A Correction and a Request for More Information
In my Findlaw column yesterday, I wrote:
Jeff Hauser points out to me that the liberal bloggers in fact did disclose the payments on their site. See for example this discussion on Talk Left about Daily Kos. I regret the error. Apparently, the Thune bloggers did not disclose their role on their blogs.
I'm now interested in the question of how this information was disclosed on the Daily Kos blog. Was there a single statement in a blog post? Did it appear on the home page? On every web page dealing with the paying candidate's election?
(I don't take money from candidates, but I do sometimes work on election law litigation. When I do so, I include a disclosure on the right side of the blog and in each blog post dealing with that litigation.)
I'd like to see disclosure by paid bloggers along the lines of 11 C.F.R. 110.11, which, if applied to paid bloggers, would require something like a statement on each page view that says something to the effect of "Paid for by Smith for Congress, an authorized campaign committee." I don't think a single disclosure or disclosure on the home page is enough because those who follow a link to a particular page on the site won't see the disclosure.
The disclosure is important because readers can more easily judge the credibility of a blogger and blog post knowing the person is getting paid to write on the topic.