Sen. Richard Pan Proposes Bill to Force News Sites to Use ‘Fact-Checkers’

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A bill introduced by California State Senator Richard Pan 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.

According to the SB 1424, it 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.

The bill fails to identify who the “fact-checkers” would be.

In another bill by Sen. Hannah Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), Senate Bill 947 would authorize California’s schools to teach kids how to identify “fake news.”


SECTION 1.

 Title 14.5 (commencing with Section 3085) is added to Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code, to read:

TITLE 14.5. False Information Strategic Plans

3085.

 (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.

 

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