May 15, 2023 •
Washington Senate Bill 5152 and House Bill 1317 Signed into Law
Gov. Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1317 and Senate Bill 5152, updating campaign and lobbying rules in response to current technologies and practices involving online activity and social media. House Bill 1317 was designed to shed light on special interest “astroturfing” in grassroots lobbying. The new law expedites registration of sponsors of grassroots lobbying campaigns and increases the disclosures that must be made in the registration and any advertisements made by the lobbying campaign.
Senate Bill 5152 seeks to combat the advent of “synthetic media” political ads. These ads are created when, via artificial intelligence or other such programs, media is manipulated to cause a person (in this case a politician) to say or act in a way that did not happen. Senate Bill 5152 gives a target of synthetic media a course of action to force a sponsor or media platform to terminate the synthetic media campaign. The bill also gives the sponsor the ability to add a disclosure to the synthetic ad stating the ad or image is a synthetic media post. Both bills become effective July 23.
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