The Colorado state legislature has passed a bill that will ban the “use of social media to commit fraudulent activity” and “provide false information” to anyone who uses it to solicit donations for charitable causes.
The bill was introduced last week by Democratic state Rep. David A. Gaffney, who has been accused of being a “serial fraudster” after he raised $1.7 million through Facebook in 2015, using his profile as an intermediary to raise money for a charity.
In 2014, Colorado voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure banning all commercial fundraising on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and other social media platforms.
The new legislation, SB 511, does not specifically prohibit online fundraising, but it does require that a registered social media company remove all posts that “misrepresent” or “deceive” a person or entity.
Gaffney told The Associated Press that the goal is to create a more transparent and accountable fundraising environment.
“You’ve got to be honest with your donors and you’ve got a responsibility to tell the truth about who you are and what you’re trying to do,” he said.
Gaffe, who previously worked for Facebook and Twitter, has been arrested several times, including once on felony charges of receiving stolen property after he tried to rob a man of $20,000 through a Facebook account.
He is awaiting trial on a second theft charge, which he said was an accident.