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If you haven’t seen Rep. Brian Sims’ unlawful campaign video yet here it is:

Rep. Brian Sims’ Unlawful Campaign video to children.

Here’s the original tweet where I saw the story shared:

I’ve downloaded this video and published it to my YouTube account in case Rep. Brian Sims’ inappropriate actions cause him to remove it. This video is illegal in a very subtle way. It targets children under the age of 13 online while pretending to be a message for parents. Here’s why that’s a problem and what you can do to stop him from doing anything like this again.

COPPA Regulations Prohibit Advertising Online To Children Under 13

COPPA stands for Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule. It was enacted by Congress in 1998. The gist of it is the fact that the private experience online advertising is distinct form television or any other format. The basis of COPPA has part to do with data collection, but also privacy. While a child could watch TV alone and therefore see an ad without their parent around, there is no way to have a direct communication. For example, if Trix cereal advertises on morning cartoon shows, children may see their ads without a parent present. However, if a 12 year old saw a YouTube pre-roll ad while watching a video, they can actually interact with the brand directly. Also the data collected on that child could be used to advertise them things inappropriate for a child like pornography or other explicit content.

The goal of COPPA is to ensure parents have control over what their young children consume on the internet. The FTC says, “The Rule applies to commercial websites and online services (including mobile apps and IoT devices) directed to children under 13 that collect, use, or disclose personal information from children.” Sims is marketing himself, and his website domains/commercial campaign to children under 13 and is asking them to submit personal details to him. While he may not be using an automated service or product like a Facebook pixel to do this, the rule should follow.

If you believe this was a violation of COPPA, you can report it as fraud to the FTC for investigation. The FTC only investigates what could become a class action suit. So if you report this, share it with people you think would do the same. If enough people report this same instance they may take action.

Report Fraud FTC: start by clicking this link. I recommend you choose the “Something else” category because it doesn’t fit into any other box. Fill out the details and hit submit. This is a good way to begin sending a message about Rep. Brian Sims’ inappropriate conduct to the right people.

While this may seem like a small step, I have made an impact with this before. Last year I reported Philadelphia Weekly to the FTC for lying about the fake homeless camp at Von Colln. Since then the paper has done a complete 180 on their editorial direction, they fired their freelancer who wrote the story, and demoted & hired a new editor in chief. It worked.

Unfair Trade Practices & Consumer Protection Law Violation

If Rep. Brian Sims were to argue that this video was intended for the parents of such children, then his message was more than unclear. In fact it was misleading – at best. It was clear as day that he wanted children to contact him. Specific children, too; those with gender confusion. As part of a campaign to invariably raise money from people to fight for certain issues, this video is part of a campaign to eligible voters. That means he’s positioning himself with voters as a progressive that supports “trans” children. But he can’t advertise to those people by doing something that violates COPPA. That in itself should be a violation.

In other words, he is presenting himself as somebody with an honest message. But he can’t be putting out an honest message if it’s illegal.

To report this kind of violation you’ll have to contact the state of Pennsylvania’s attorney general Josh Shapiro. You can do that here. I would recommend people take this action as well. Shapiro has proven to be a party-man for the Democrats, but this is the year of Democrats eating their own. So perhaps Shapiro is a shill, but for a different faction of Democrats.

Rep. Brian Sims’ Inappropriate Video Should Disqualify Him From Running For Lieutenant Governor

If it doesn’t, the message is clear: the state of Pennsylvania is okay with endangering your children online. They were already fine with endangering your children by forcing schools closed. Then the state wants to promote Rachel Levine to the highest health office in the land. That is part & parcel of the problem. The progressives claim to be fighting for those with no voice, when they want to subvert or abuse people’s voices. Rep. Brian Sims grossed me out with this video. But my personal preferences aren’t the issue here. The issue here is you can’t advertise like this.

Not in America.

Matt Berman

Matt Berman

Matt has been an artist since he was a child: dancing, illustrating, writing, and producing music. In business, Matt is a master strategist, and expert in communications. He combines his creative passions with his diligence as a professional to give clients a fierce competitive advantage in any circumstance. He has a Bachelors degree in Philosophy from Temple University. Follow Matt on Twitter @mattebphl