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Comelec to Look After Candidates Who Will Use Social Media for Campaigns

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will look after political candidates who spend money to advertise their campaigns in social media.

They will focus on candidates who spend money on social media to campaign in the 2022 elections, according to Comelec Commissioner Antonio Kho Jr. Due to the epidemic, Comelec officials warned at the Laging Handa briefing that there will be an influx of internet campaigning.

“We will consider social media as broadcast (media) because we cannot stop them (candidates) from posting because that’s part of free expression. We will control that in relation to spending limits,” Kho said partly in Filipino.

Comelec Social Media Campaigns

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Kho emphasized the importance of drafting mechanisms to track candidates’ expenditure on social media because, unlike television, radio, and newspapers, there is no particular regulation governing campaign commercials on social media.

“Campaign ads are divided between print and broadcast which is TV and radio. Social media will be under broadcast. We will control in terms of expenses incurred in entering contracts with social media carriers,” Kho said.

In addition, the Comelec anticipates that the usage of social media will be “a huge thing” in the presidential campaign. Kho emphasized that social media platforms might be a “wonderful equalizer” for candidates who have less money to go on the campaign trail, citing how the pandemic has prevented big rallies.

“In the campaign, we cannot really remove the political rallies. That really is in our history. That’s a campaign tradition. But there will be a strict implementation of safety measures,” he said.

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