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LostInParadise's avatar

What if there was a way to pre-certify the truth of political ads?

Asked by LostInParadise (17724 points ) January 30th, 2012

There are plenty of outfits that do fact checking after ads have been made. What if there was a way to present an ad to one of these places and have them announce at the end of the ad that all statements made have been certified as true, assuming that they are all indeed true. I am guessing this would not go over well with campaigners, since there is nothing to stop them from doing that now and they obviously have chosen not to do so.

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7 Answers

marinelife's avatar

It would expose all of them to having to subscribe to truthiness, which they would dislike.

zenvelo's avatar

Provided it was actually competent and neutral, I think it would be great. Politifact was found to be very wrong on the State of the Union evaluation.

But political ads are still subject to exaggeration and distortion. For instance, the bill to extend the payroll tax cut included the rider to evaluate the Keystone XL pipeline by February 28. So people who would normally have voted against the pipeline portion had to go on record as voting in favor of it. I am sure there were a lot of Democrats that voted in favor of the bill, since it passed 89–10. And in the House, Nancy Pelosi had to vote against it because of the Pipeline inclusion.

So because of the way the bill was structured, you are either branded as “anti environmental” or “anti-tax cuts for the middle class”. And both would be considered factual.

flutherother's avatar

I don’t think it can work in a country with free speech. Candidates and political parties must be free to say what they want. The media and political commentators can then analyse it and the public can decide. Politicians often say meaningless things like ‘I will make things better’ which the public want to believe. It isn’t a lie, it is just an empty phrase and a good interviewer should be able to make this clear to the public.

LostInParadise's avatar

I am not talking about making this mandatory, just an option that a candidate could take.

ETpro's avatar

The main stream media would pump billions in lobbying dollars into outlawing its use. :-)

saint's avatar

It’ll never sell. Politicians won’t like and neither will their constituents. Only the other guy’s constiuents would want it for everybody else.

janbb's avatar

Great idea; won’t wash.

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