Protect Political Speech Online: Stop California A.B. 1104
The answer to "fake news" is not a censorship law. Tell California Assemblymember Ed Chau and his privacy committee to table A.B. 1104.
A.B. 1104 was pulled and will not be heard in committee today. Stay tuned.
Chau's legislation would make it illegal to post "false or deceptive statements" online to influence an election. Not only would that law be unconstitutional, it would create electoral chaos on an epic scale.
Political operatives could file complaints at the slightest hint of hyberbole or smallest misstatement of fact by a candidate. Prosecutors could launch politically motivated investigations. The bill doesn't even exempt journalism, leaving bloggers who want to quote false statements before debunking them in a legal limbo. Even satirical websites, such as The Onion, could come under fire for posting technically false information. You could even get in trouble for retweeting something inaccurate that someone else said.
The Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee is hearing the bill on Tuesday. Let's light up the members' Twitter streams demanding they put this bill back on the shelf.