SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – California is considering creating a “fake news” advisory group in order to monitor information posted and spread on social media.

Senate Bill 1424 would require the California Attorney General to create the advisory committee by April 1, 2019. It 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.

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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 31, 2019. The group would also need to come up with criteria establishing what is “fake news” versus what is inflammatory or one-sided.

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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.”

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A recent study by Massachusetts-based MindEdge Learning was conducted with 1,000 young adults, ages 18 to 31-years-old. According to MindEdge’s nine-question survey, 52 percent of the respondents incorrectly answered at least four questions and received a failing grade. The number of young adults who could detect false information on the internet went down by all of the group’s measures. Only 19 percent of the college students and grads scored an “A” by getting eight or nine questions correct. That number is down from 24 percent in last year’s survey.

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Facebook recently did away with its “Trending News” section – calling it outdated and unpopular. That section was criticized in the past after reports came out claiming the human editors were biased against conservatives. After Facebook fired those editors, the algorithms it replaced them with couldn’t always distinguish real news from fake.

After the 2016 election, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg denied that fake news spread on the social site he oversees influenced the outcome- calling the idea “crazy.”

A previous bill, AB 155, would have required schools to teach students the difference between “fake news” and “real news.” It died in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.

The current bill SB 1424 was authored by Senator Dr. Richard Pan. It passed the Senate on May 30, 2018 by a vote of 25-11. It will be heard by the Assembly Arts, Entertainment, Sports, tourism, and Internet Media Committee on Tuesday.

Comments (49)
  1. Zack Watkins says:

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes

  2. 1984… in California. Shocked I’m not.

  3. George Craig says:

    I can see a few problems with this. Even when the hard data backs them up, conservative viewpoints are often called “fake news”, while complete garbage with no hard data to back it up gets a pass if it fits the liberal agenda. And that includes a lot of “fact checkers”. The same statement that is considered factual when a Democrat says it, is called a lie if a Republican repeats it.
    When Bernie Sanders said it: Mostly True
    When Donald Trump said same thing a year later: Mostly False
    And talking points seem to trump facts. I tried to tell somebody that 22 million is NOT greater than 23 million. She kept insisting I was wrong and calling me a nazi, racist, etc. because I quoted a fact straight out of the official US census, and included a link. I finally gave up and decided you can’t fix stupid.

  4. I’m sure they will be tagging CNN and MSNBC, right? Along with the NYT and others such leftist propaganda outlets.

  5. Bill Harnist says:

    I hear CA is looking into forming an Advisory Committee on Silly Walks.

  6. Jose Rios says:

    This is an attempt to censor out conservative speech.

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