California lawmakers, having solved all their really big problems, have now turned their attention to fighting the epidemic of fake news. One California state senator has a BRILLIANT idea that will be sure to work—state licensed fact checkers!!
Yep. State Senator Richard Pan wants everything that is published on-line to be approved by state licensed fact checkers. He’s introduced a bill titled “SB1424 Internet: social media: false information: strategic plan.”
It’s a pretty short bill, here it is in its entirety:
This bill would require any person who operates a social media, as defined, Internet Web site with a physical presence in California to develop a strategic plan to verify news stories shared on its Web site. The bill would require the plan to include, among other things, a plan to mitigate the spread of false information through news stories, the utilization of fact-checkers to verify news stories, providing outreach to social media users, and placing a warning on a news story containing false information.
(a) Any person who operates a social media Internet Web site with physical presence in California shall develop a strategic plan to verify news stories shared on its Internet Web site.
(b) The strategic plan shall include, but is not limited to, all of the following:
(1) A plan to mitigate the spread of false information through news stories.
(2) The utilization of fact-checkers to verify news stories.
(3) Providing outreach to social media users regarding news stories containing false information.
(4) Placing a warning on a news story containing false information.
(c) As used in this section, “social media” means an electronic service or account, or electronic content, including, but not limited to, videos, still photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant and text messages, email, online services or accounts, or Internet Web site profiles or locations.
Senator Pan’s bill says it only targets social media—you know, those fake stories that leave you shocked on Facebook. However, if you’ve read the bill, you realize that it is ANY internet website or blog, as long as it has a physical presence in California.
Boy! That’s a relief. I was scared the Cali lawmakers were going to go after the Pursuit of Happiness Blog.
But, that’s probably what’s going to happen. If this bill passes, agencies of the California government will start to develop rules and regulations for what is speech, and will start to define “speech crimes”.
I’d like to think that eventually this bill will be found unconstitutional, but this is California after all. It’s becoming the socialist paradise that Venezuela aspires to be.