Asked • 04/19/19

Anti-deceptive electioneering law?

In light of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections and clandestine Democratic efforts to use deceptive tactics in the recent Alabama senate race, it is clear that social media as a vehicle of deceptive electioneering tactics is on the rise. As [a NYT article](https://nyti.ms/2GtEkuw?smid=nytcore-ios-share) describes,\n\n> But however modest, the influence effort in Alabama may be a sign of things to come. Campaign veterans in both parties fear the Russian example may set off a race to the bottom, in which candidates choose social media manipulation because they fear their opponents will.\n\nGiven all the Mueller indictments, the Russian election meddling/potential collusion was illegal. However, given the above NYT article, this domestic deception was not illegal. \n\nSo, my question: Is this kind of deceptive electioneering, foreign or domestic, explicitly illegal? If not, is Congress considering legislation to make it illegal?\n\n**To be absolutely clear,** as I wrote in a comment below, and as is written in the NYT article, the Alabama example had exactly no significant effect on the election. Regardless, my question is unconcerned with the relative significance of either voter-influencing campaign, nor is it concerned with debating which is more condemnable. Instead, I draw an equivalence only insofar as this: despite key differences in funding, source, and scope, these two examples demonstrate a common use of social media to deceive voters and suggest a growing pattern may emerge.

1 Expert Answer

By:

Connie Y. answered • 04/19/19

Doctorate of Jurisprudence

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