The Commission on Election has posted new rules during the election campaign that will significantly affect bloggers and folks using Twitter and Facebook, among other sites.
Under Comelec Resolution No. 9615, the commission put forth a number of restrictions when bloggers and social media users are involved in political campaigning.
Comelec does allow people to express their opinion freely on blogs, Twitter and Facebook — “Personal opinions, views, and preferences for candidates, contained in blogs shall not be considered acts of election campaigning…“
However, if you have be compensated or given special consideration, it could already be considered political campaigning:
Political advertising includes matters, not falling within the scope of personal opinion, that appear on any Internet website, including, but not limited to, social networks, blogging sites, and micro-blogging sites, in return for consideration, or otherwise capable of pecuniary estimation.
There’s also the provision on the right to reply wherein “candidates shall have the right to reply to charges published or aired against them… with the same prominence or in the same page or section, or in the same time slot as the first statement” although there was no mention of a website or blog it could also be applicable.
One other thing that the Comelec wants is that if you promote a candidate, you will have to “disclose” that you have been compensated for doing so.
With the growing number of blogs and Twitter celebrities getting paid for promoting a product of service, these implementing rules and regulations are in order. We encourage folks to read these rules to be aware of it and be familiar with the restrictions.