The Texas Election Code has imposed certain regulations on political advertising, as well as prohibiting certain types of misrepresentation. To understand how this has impacted the way candidates run their campaigns in Harris County, Texas, we conducted 14 in-depth interviews with experts from political strategists to executives of influence platforms, government regulatory bodies, and the influential people in politics themselves. Our research revealed that influential people are often paid representatives of political campaigns, rather than voluntarily knocking on digital doors. Moreover, most Democratic campaigns weren't interested in working with them.
Small-scale influencers are affordable and allow crowds to be mobilized to target very specific audiences with “authentic political messages”. However, posts by political influencers do not meet the requirements of the stricter rules imposed by Instagram, Facebook and Twitter on political advertising, since payments are made outside the platform. On Election Day in Harris County, there were a series of issues at voting centers, including some that opened late and others that ran out of paper to print ballots. This caused a ripple effect across the social media landscape, provoking and inspiring others and creating an expectation about political discourse. Adam Bonica, a political science professor at Stanford who also manages the database on ideology, money in politics and elections, noted that money is still relevant to winning. In the last challenge on Thursday to the outcome of the race for Harris County executive director, Mrs.
Kari Lake, the Republican candidate for governor of Arizona, tried to overturn her loss on the grounds that election officials in a major county deliberately deprived their voters of their rights. To combat the rise of political influencers, both the federal government and social media companies must take action. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has proposed new rules that would require disclosure of who is paying for political ads on social media platforms. This would help to ensure transparency and accountability in political advertising. Additionally, social media companies should also take steps to ensure that their platforms are not used to spread false or misleading information about candidates or issues. Political advertising has changed significantly over the years in Harris County, Texas.
The regulations imposed by the Texas Election Code have had a major impact on how campaigns are run. Furthermore, the rise of political influencers has created new challenges for both federal regulators and social media companies. In order to ensure transparency and accountability in political advertising, both parties must take action.