How Ohio's Candidates Follow the Law While Using Social Media for Campaigns

Aug 25, 2017

Turcer says the best way to follow the law is to create special accounts.
Credit STATE OF OHIO / OHIO PUBLIC TELEVISION

When elected office holders run a campaign, they are required by law to keep their campaign staff and messages separate from their official communications. Elected officials who are running for governor next year are handling their social media in different ways – some creating totally new accounts. But some aren’t separating them at all.

Some elected officeholders have created special pages on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites to handle their campaign activities.

Catherine Turcer with the watchdog group Common Cause Ohio says that’s the best way to handle it. But she says there’s a technical reason why some elected officials who have followers don’t want to set up new pages for their campaigns.

“There are algorithms for social media so that information pops up more often if something is popular. And so one often keeps that account or that person’s activities. It helps spread it more broadly.”

Turcer says Ohio law isn’t clear on social media use in campaigns, and she says lawmakers need to address that.