Liable and Slander Claims
In 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act of 1996 which says that blogs cannot be held liable for reporting and commenting on information published by other bloggers and news sites (Section 230 of Title 47 of the United States Code (47 USC § 230)). Section 230 specifically says (with my emphasis):
No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider
[ This federal law prohibits states from enforcing contrary laws … ]
[n]o cause of action may be brought and no liability may be imposed under any State or local law that is inconsistent with this section.
At All Things Democrat, we protect ourselves by providing a link to our sources (the “information content providers”). If you have an issue with something we’ve posted, follow our source links and take-it-up with the original source.
All Things Democrat and All Things Democratic are publicly claimed trademarks of this site since 2006 and protected by U.S. trademark law.
All original content in this site is protected by U.S. copyright law.
FEC Regulations Related to Blogging by Individuals, Campaign staffers, Candidates, or official party organizations.
Per FEC regulations, all writers at All Things Democrat (ATD) are allowed to publish articles supporting campaigns and candidates and encouraging readers to vote for them AND they are allowed to simultaneously work for a campaign or candidate, the Democratic Party, and its affiliated organizations. In addition, any candidate, campaign or party member or organization representative is allowed to post articles or op-eds at All Things Democrat “for the purpose of influencing an election” as long as ATD is not compensated (ATD has never been compensated by or affiliated with any campaign or Democratic Party organization). ATD received the following response from the FEC on 8/6/13 to clarify regulations related to our blog’s use by any individuals, campaigns or political organizations (with my emphasis added):
In 2007, the Commission issued regulations basically applying exemptions in the law to most internet activities except for paid web advertisements. These rules for internet communications and activity are summarized in a brochure at http://www.fec.gov/pages/brochures/internetcomm.shtml. In general, uncompensated Internet activity by individuals (such as posting columns or opinion pieces on blogs) for the purpose of influencing a federal election is exempt from the definition of a contribution or expenditure, and thus does not trigger the law’s limitations, prohibitions, disclaimer or reporting requirements. This regulation applies regardless of whether the individual is acting independently or in coordination with a campaign or political party.
Sr. Communications Specialist
FEC Office of Communications
For more info, contact the FEC’s Information Division toll-free at 800/424-9530 (press 6), or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.