33.13.07.02

.02 Requirements.

A. In General.

(1) Each item of campaign material shall contain an authority line as required under Election Law Article, §13-401, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(2) A website, email, or other online content that is established, created, used, or authorized by a political committee or its agent for the purpose of promoting or opposing a candidate, a prospective candidate, or the approval or rejection of a question is campaign material as defined under Election Law Article, §1-101(k), Annotated Code of Maryland and, except as otherwise specified in this regulation, shall include an authority line as required under Election Law Article, §13-401, Annotated Code of Maryland.

B. Social Media.

(1) A social media account established, created, used, or authorized by a political committee or its agent for the purpose of promoting or opposing a candidate, a prospective candidate, or the approval or rejection of a question is campaign material as defined under Election Law Article, §1-101(k), Annotated Code of Maryland.

(2) A political committee that maintains a social media account is in compliance with the authority line requirement if the political committee or person posts the authority line information required under Election Law Article, §13-401(a), Annotated Code of Maryland, in the account profile or prominently on the landing or home page of the account.

C. Micro-Blog.

(1) A micro-blog established, created, used, or authorized by a political committee or its agent for the purpose of promoting or opposing a candidate, a prospective candidate, or the approval or rejection of a question is campaign material as defined under Election Law Article, §1-101(k), Annotated Code of Maryland.

(2) A political committee that maintains a micro-blog account is in compliance with the authority line requirement if:

(a) The authority line required under Election Law Article, §13-401(a), Annotated Code of Maryland, is posted on the account profile or prominently on the landing or home page of the micro-blog account.

(b) In cases where the micro-blog account does not permit the posting of the authority line, the political committee shall register the micro-bog account and the authority line information required under Election Law Article, §13-401(a), Annotated Code of Maryland, with the State Board.

D. Electronic Media Advertisements.

(1) An electronic media advertisement published or distributed by a political committee or an agent of the political committee for the purpose of promoting or opposing a candidate, prospective candidate, or the approval or rejection of a question is campaign material as defined under Election Law Article, §1-101(k), Annotated Code of Maryland.

(2) Authority Line Required.

(a) A political committee that establishes an electronic media advertisement shall include the authority line required under Election Law Article, §13-401(a)(1), Annotated Code of Maryland, within the advertisement.

(b) If an electronic media advertisement is in text or graphic form and is too small to include the authority line information required under Election Law Article, §13-401(a), Annotated Code of Maryland, in a legible manner, the political committee is in compliance with the authority line requirement under Election Law Article, §13-401(a), Annotated Code of Maryland, if:

(i) The electronic media advertisement includes an icon or button that when viewed in the context of the electronic media advertisement, provides clear, meaningful and prominent notice that the electronic media advertisement is campaign material, and when clicked or scrolled over by the person viewing the electronic media advertisement, opens a page, window or an overlay that prominently displays the authority line information required under Election Law Article, §13-401(a), Annotated Code of Maryland and the information required under Election Law Article, §13-405(b)(6), Annotated Code of Maryland; or

(ii) The electronic media advertisement that does not allow for the use of the icon or button referenced in Regulation .02D(2)(b)(i) of this chapter, when clicked by the person viewing the electronic media advertisement, opens a page or window that prominently displays the authority line information required under Election Law Article, §13-401(a), Annotated Code of Maryland; and the political committee notifies the State Board of the online platform that does not allow for the use of the icon or button referenced in Regulation .02D(2)(b)(1) of this chapter.

(c) Examples of electronic media advertisements that are too small to contain an authority line as required under Election Law Article, §13-401(a), Annotated Code of Maryland, include:

(i) A micro bar;

(ii) A button ad;

(iii) A text or communication that is 200 characters or fewer in length; and

(iv) A graphic or picture link where it is not reasonably practical due to the size of the graphic or picture link.

E. Barcodes.

(1) A barcode established, created, used, or authorized by a political committee or its agent for the purpose of promoting or opposing a candidate, a prospective candidate, or the approval or rejection of a question is campaign material as defined under Election Law Article, §1-101(k), Annotated Code of Maryland.

(2) Authority Line Required.

(a) A political committee that establishes, creates, uses or authorizes the creation, establishment, or use of a barcode shall include the authority line required under Election Law Article, §13-401(a)(1), Annotated Code of Maryland, within the publication or distribution of the accompanying information or opinion.

(b) If the accompanying information or opinion publicized or distributed is too small to include the authority line information required under Election Law Article, §13-401(a), Annotated Code of Maryland, in a legible manner, the political committee is in compliance with the authority line requirement under Election Law Article, §13-401(a), Annotated Code of Maryland, if:

(i) The accompanying information or opinion contains an internet address of the political committee responsible for the publication or distribution and allows the receiver of the accompanying information or opinion to click on the internet address and be taken to a landing or home page that prominently displays the authority line information required under Election Law Article, §13-401(a), Annotated Code of Maryland, of the political committee responsible for the publication or distribution; or

(ii) In cases where the accompanying information or opinion does not allow the receiver to click on an internet address, the political committee notifies the State Board in writing of the accompanying information or opinion contained in that barcode, including any updates to that barcode, with the appropriate authority line information required under Election Law Article, §13-401(a), Annotated Code of Maryland, within 24 hours after the publication or distribution of the barcode and accompanying information or opinion.

(c) By the end of the next business day of receipt from a political committee of the accompanying information or opinion related to a barcode, the State Board shall make that information or opinion along with the required authority line available to the public.

F. Application Software.

(1) Application software established, created, used, or authorized by a political committee or its agent for the purpose of promoting or opposing a candidate, a prospective candidate, or the approval or rejection of a question is campaign material as defined under Election Law Article, §1-101(k), Annotated Code of Maryland.

(2) Authority Line Required.

(a) A political committee that establishes, creates, uses or authorizes the use of application software shall include the authority line required under Election Law Article, §13-401(a)(1), Annotated Code of Maryland, on all display pages for that application software and within any information or opinion publicized or distributed using that application software.

(b) If a display page for the application software or for information or opinion publicized or distributed via the application software is too small to include the authority line information required under Election Law Article, §13-401(a), Annotated Code of Maryland, in a legible manner, the political committee is in compliance with the authority line requirement under Election Law Article, §13-401(a), Annotated Code of Maryland if:

(i) The display page or information or opinion contains an internet address of the political committee responsible for the publication or distribution and allows the receiver of the display page or information or opinion to click on the internet address or hyperlink address and be taken to a landing or home page that prominently displays the authority line information required under Election Law Article, §13-401(a), Annotated Code of Maryland, of the political committee responsible for the publication or distribution; or

(ii) In cases where the accompanying information or opinion for application software does not allow the receiver to click on the internet address or hyperlink address, the political committee notifies the State Board in writing of the accompanying information or opinion contained in that application software, including any updates, with the appropriate authority line information required under Election Law Article, §13-401(a), Annotated Code of Maryland, within 24 hours after the publication or distribution of the application software and accompanying information or opinion.

(c) By the end of the next business day of receipt from a political committee of accompanying information or opinion related to application software, the State Board shall make that information or opinion along with the required authority line available to the public.

G. Bots and Paid Promotion. A political committee or other person responsible for any publication may not conceal or misrepresent the identity of the political committee or person responsible for the publication via the use of a software application or paid service that generates or deploys multiple social media profiles, such as a bot, to distribute or disseminate the publication.