Introduced by California state Sen. Richard Pan, a new bill seeks to require social media and internet web sites with a physical presence in California to “to develop a strategic plan to verify news stories shared on its Web site.” Pan represents the 6th senatorial district of California, which includes Sacramento and Yolo counties. 

Titled “SB1424 Internet: social media: false information: strategic plan,” Pan’s bill targets the huge social media industry that is based in California, which includes Google, YouTube, and Facebook. It also appears to define “social media” as any Internet blog, website, or communication. Critics contend that the bill will add considerable costs, at the very least, to producing social media.

SB1424 states

“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.”
 
Facebook utilizes fact-checkers approved by the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), which is operated by the Poynter Institute. The latter receives funding from George Soros’s Open Society Foundation and other leftist organizations.
 

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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