General Question

emilyrose's avatar

Has anyone every proposed the idea of 3rd party verification of political ads and robo calls?

Asked by emilyrose (2269points) October 22nd, 2008

Since both campaigns are spreading misinformation, I wondered if a 3rd party ad/call approval system would ever work, or make any sense. Basically a campaign could not run any ad without getting the approval of a “non-partisan” watchdog group. This group would fact check and ask the campaigns to tone down unnecessarily negative ads. Would it ever be possible to have a non-partisan approval team? At the very least, I don’t think that any campaign should be allowed to send out mailers with information that can be proven false, or intentionally misleading.

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11 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

It would be nice if all information presented was accurate. Look at arguments on the Internet. Imagine that with lawyers going after every little thing in every little ad so one campaign could run an ad. They would never be able to run an ad before the actual election took place.

*That might actually be nice. <stares with a jealous eye at the short election cycles in Canada..>

laureth's avatar

To say that candidates shouldn’t be able to lie in their political ads would be to limit their free speech. ;)

http://www.factcheck.org/specialreports/false_ads_there_oughta_be_a_law.html

Perhaps the next best thing is to “fact check” the information yourself – and become an informed voter. It’s even possible to expose the truth (or untruth) of what the candidates are saying, like that site I referenced up there does.

emilyrose's avatar

@laureth—I don’t think most Americans would put in the time to do their own fact checking unfortunately…....
nice link by the way : )

augustlan's avatar

It would be a wonderful thing in theory, but in practice it would get sketchy. How do we assure that the non-partisian group really is non-partisian? Who gets to make that decision? Even assuming it was possible to be 100% certain, how do you get the diehards of either party to believe that? Just taking as an example “Obama is a Muslim”, which has been widely discredited…there are still many who believe that crap! Sadly, human nature always interferes with good intentions.

emilyrose's avatar

@augustlan—those were some of the same things i was wondering about…. argh.

fireside's avatar

I say ban all political ads, mailers and phone calls period. They get plenty of opportunity to exercise their right to free speech at their rallies and events. Not allowing political ads would mean that they would actually have to hold real rallies and town hall meetings that were full of voters from all sides, not just partisan photo opportunities.

The media would still cover the campaigns vigorously, they just wouldn’t have the misleading ads to talk about and might actually have a chance to discuss real issues.

Then all that money that was saved by not paying for high priced air time and video production could be donated toward the national debt at the end of the election cycle.

emilyrose's avatar

@fireside—- but unfortunately the media does whatever they want too including lies and misleading info!

fireside's avatar

Sure, but we can all see the truth now anyways. The ads do nothing but distort the messages.

emilyrose's avatar

@fireside—do you mean that American people can tell the different between what is true and what is not?

fireside's avatar

@ emilyrose – i guess that was a pretty sloppy statement.

What I meant to say was that removing the political ads would not change the quality of the news media in any way. It would just change the content slightly.

The political ads have done little to drive the debate, they simply serve a “share of mind” purpose. Nowadays, any major leaks are done through blogs and you tube or good old fashioned anonymous sources.

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