Social Media Political Influencers – 2024 Paid Disclosure Requirements
Social media influencers have played a significant role in political advertising since 2020, contributing to digital outreach and grassroots efforts. Leveraging influencers’ authentic content remains a compelling strategy for supporting or opposing political causes.
As 2024 approaches, the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) is finalizing its technological modernization rulings. Notably, there are no new requirements for social media influencers when paid to promote political causes or candidates. This means influencers are not obligated to disclose payments for political posts. Even with the FEC’s lack of additional disclosure requirements, little change in this space is expected in the coming year.
While the FEC doesn’t currently mandate federal disclosure, most social media platforms have their own requirements. Many influencers often transparently inform their followers about paid content, using #ad or other means. State candidates and ballot measures are still subject to state disclosure requirements, interpreted by campaign lawyers.
Despite current federal regulations, above-board influencers prioritize transparency, recognizing its importance for maintaining follower trust. While many influencers generally conduct themselves responsibly, the lack of federal regulation in this space raises concerns about the potential for astroturfing tendencies, particularly as the 2024 election approaches. The existing absence of regulations signifies an ongoing issue, and opting not to mandate any measures will likely perpetuate the problem, potentially empowering bad actors.