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Today’s bonus tracks: Are Google ads political speech?

Online advertising– especially on platforms like Google and Facebook– is still a pretty tiny slice of the pie for anyone seeking political office. All the same, some state and local candidates are hot under the collar about recent rulings finding that those teeny-tiny ads fall afoul of rules governing campaign media– because they don’t specify who ponied up the money for the ad. Except the candidates are saying that these aren’t really ads, just “links to ads.” That might sound like an unbearably fine distinction, but it highlights someĀ  valid questions. What sort of media is a Google ad? Who, if anyone, get to regulate it? For insight into this and other thorny issues, check out the free daily newsletter from SmartBrief on Social Media.