Comelec screens political promos on social media

Election Officer Jason Orbeta of Comelec (above center) reminds all political candidates and voters the do’s and don’ts during campaign season amid Covid-19 pandemic in a #kapihan sa PIA forum Wednesday in Dumaguete City. The Comelec has urged the public to report incidents of prohibitions, especially vote buying in kind or in cash as the campaign season for this year’s national and local elections officially started. (PIA7 NegOr)

In the advent of the proliferation of fake news in the social media, the Commission on Elections has issued a specific warning to trolls and social media political bloggers that these will be strictly monitored by the Comelec, tracked down by a cyber task force and prosecuted in line with Resolution 10730 which regulates political promotions.

The guidelines for traditional mainstream media remain practically the same, but with big innovations in the use of social media on election season.

The following are the highlights of social media regulations during election campaign season. Feb 8 started the national campaign while March 25 will be start of the campaign for local officials. These include the congressmen, governors, mayors and councilors.

Only websites, blogs and social media pages registered by candidates and political parties may run campaign ads for the May 9, 2022, elections, and they must disclose that these are paid ads and identify who paid for them.

These provisions are part of the expanded social media regulation contained in the rules on political ads issued by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for next year’s elections.

Every election, the poll body issues rules to implement the Fair Election Act, or Republic Act No. 9006. The latest rules are contained in Comelec Resolution No. 10730 dated Nov. 17 and which was issued the other Thursday.

As in past elections, Comelec required candidates and political parties or coalitions to register all their “accounts, websites, blogs and/or other social media pages” with the poll body’s education and information department.

This time, however, Comelec said these have to be registered within 30 days from Oct. 8, which was the last day of filing of certificates of candidacy.

The poll body reiterated that it would regulate even websites, blogs or social media pages that were not registered by the candidates but have for its primary purpose the endorsement of a candidate, whether or not directly maintained or administered by the candidates or their official campaign representatives . (By Dona Z. Pazzibugan)

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