Will the FEC finally rein in political influencers on social media?


In the endless battle for consumers’ digital attention, conventional advertisers bid on ad space for custom audiences. They place infant clothing promos in new parents’ social media sidebars and banner ads for video games on websites frequented by teenagers. Our own behavioral data is used to sway us with targeted marketing. There is, though, some regulation and standardization of this commercial space online. When it comes to the regulation of political social media influencers, though, chaos reigns. Social media influencers are individuals who have social clout and significant followings on specific platforms, for specific topics, and within specific communities. They use this clout to advertise commercial, social, or — increasingly — political causes: including during the 2020 U.S. presidential election.