A bill has been introduced in the California legislature, SB 1424, that would require any person who operates a social media web site with a physical presence in California to develop a strategic plan to verify news stories shared on its Web site—including a plan to mitigate the spread of false information through news stories and, importantly, “the utilization of fact-checkers to verify news stories.”
This bill could have dangerous consequences for free speech. “Fact checker” is not defined in the bill. We suspect that this is because the sponsor, Sen. Richard Pan, intends for the term to be defined in regulation, which could easily result in a situation where only “state-sponsored” fact-checkers are acceptable—creating a situation in which the state of California decides what facts are acceptable and which are not.
Recall that Sen. Pan was the sponsor of SB 277, the law that removed all non-medical exemptions to vaccinations in the state. Once again, he is behind legislation that will erode freedoms in California.
Write to your representatives and urge them to oppose this bill!
Please send your message immediately!
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