SPOTLIGHT: The Post unearths Congress' online video violations

Last week, the Washington Post shed light on how members of the House of Representatives use online video in "Et Tu, YouTube? Lawmakers to Get Their Very Own Sites for Videos."  More than 100 House members have multimedia pages and YouTube links on their web sites -- in violation of House rules dating back decades and monitored by the Franking Commission. 

The Franking Commission, a House committee that decides what constitutes ethical communication for lawmakers, frowns upon official links to campaign-related web sites, political parties, advocate groups, and any web site designed to make a buck. Putting one's videos on YouTube, while convenient, pops up a bunch of commercial, non-House ads and embedding YouTube videos directly on lawmakers web sites results in a YouTube label on the lower right hand-corner that is interpreted as an advertisement.

To avoid the appearance of impropriety, aids to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi put out a request for a commercial-free video web zone. YouTube, the only responder, should have one up and running within a month.

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