We Hear Candidates' Complaints. We Ask the Public to Share our Findings and Promote Fair Campaigns
The Westchester County Fair Campaign Practices Committee expects our political candidates to conduct their races openly and fairly, to focus on issues and qualifications, to refrain from dishonest and defamatory attacks, and to avoid the use of campaign materials that distort the facts. The public deserves to have factual information in order to make informed decides about candidates.
What citizens can do
- Contact the candidate to find out if the literature or statement is true. If it's not, voice your disapproval.
- Spread the word. Tell your friends and post what you discovered on social media, making sure not to publicize the falsehoods. Do not restate the falsehood in a headline or tweet (see below).
- "Like" the FCPC on Facebook, follow the Committee on twitter, and share our findings.
- Then make sure to vote.
Tips on Posting about Misleading and Defamatory Campaign Claims
We must fight falsehoods with facts. But the more often a falsehood is repeated, the more believable it becomes. So how do we get the truth out without further defaming the victim?
In a Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society article entitled, “How to Refute a Lie,” Judith Donath recommends that we
- State the truth in the headline (or tweet), instead of repeating the falsehood.
- Use vivid graphics that depict reality.
- If the key point is that someone is lying — say that. Then state the truth. Don’t restate the lie in the headline.
So, for example, if a candidate’s literature claims that none of the opponent’s bills have ever passed in the legislature, our tweet or headline should read “6 of Legislator Abc’s Bills Signed into Law This Year,” not, “Claim that None of Legislator Abc's Bills Passed is False.”
How to determine if campaign literature and social media claims are correct, ways to check that the information we read is being provided by reliable sources, voting information, and other useful sites and resources
Please note that the inclusion of a resource does not indicate that the FCPC endorses all the opinions of the organization or author. This also applies to all other references on this site and our social media posts.