The state of California is not exactly known for it’s deep love of liberty and freedom, what with the super restrictive gun control laws, astronomically high taxes, and other assorted nutty pieces of legislation designed to curtail freedom.
However, it looks like things are about to take an even harder turn toward totalitarianism as the state is looking to create a “fake news advisory group,” which will essentially limit freedom of speech to only that agenda sponsored by the state government.
Apparently none of these folks have ever read the Constitution or the Founding Fathers at all.
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. 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.
Let’s be frank about this: there is no way to solve the problem of “fake news,” because its definition is variable. News outlets are already liable for printing defamatory material. And suggesting that news you don’t like can be policed by the government is a recipe for tyranny. That’s why the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), no right-wing outlet, opposes the bill:
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.”
While this is shocking, it’s not the first time California has tried stomping on the right to free speech by taking aim at “fake news.” Earlier this year, AB 155 was introduced which required schools to teach about “fake news” in their curriculum.
As Ben Shapiro noted above, the biggest issue with the government getting involved in the fight to stop fake news is that the definition of what constitutes “fake news” can be changed and will constantly be in flux. Even if it wasn’t, you can almost guarantee the definition that will be upheld in California will make the vast majority of conservative news “fake” and thus banned.
This is a dangerous precedent for a state to set and it is obviously a violation of free speech that should be rightfully struck down if it is passed. State governments are to have the majority power when deciding many issues left unresolved in the Constitution, however the first amendment is not one of those that the states are allowed to alter.
Let’s hope this monstrosity doesn’t pass for the sake of freedom for the residents of California.
Source: The Daily Wire
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