In an Orwellian move straight out of 1984, California has proposed a bill to consider creating a “fake news” advisory group in order to monitor information posted and spread on social media, CBS reported.
Senate Bill 1424 would require the California Attorney General to create an advisory committee by April 1st, 2019. Further, the council would need to consist of at least one person from the Department of Justice, representatives from social media providers, civil liberties advocates, and First Amendment scholars.
The advisory group would be required to study how false information is spread online and come up with a plan for social media platforms to fix the problem. The Attorney General would then need to present that plan to the Legislature by December 31st, 2019. The group would also need to come up with criteria establishing what is “fake news” and what is just biased information.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation opposes the bill, calling it “flawed” and “misguided.” The group argues the measure would make the government and advisory group responsible for deciding what is true or false. It also points out the First Amendment prevents content-based restrictions, even if the statements of “admittedly false.”
Last year the previous iterations of California’s crusade against fake news Assembly Bill 1104 or “The California Political Cyberfraud Abatement Act,” included making it against the law to publish and spread so-called “fake news” that could potentially impact a political race.
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