The California legislature was supposed to start considering a new “fake news” bill last week, but Democrats have pulled A.B. 1104 from the agenda in the wake of overwhelming criticism from both the left and the right.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation released a memo celebrating the decision, telling the bill’s sponsor, Assemblyman Ed Chau, that “you can’t fight fake news with a bad law.”
As written, the bill would make it illegal for any California resident to “knowingly and willingly make, publish, or circulate on an Internet Web site a false or deceptive statement designed to influence the vote on either of the following: (a) Any issue submitted to voters at an election, and (b) Any candidate for election to public office.”
The EFF phrased it like this: “In other words, it would be illegal to be wrong in the Internet if it could impact an election. The bill is unconstitutional under U.S. Supreme Court case law, and likely to draw immediate and costly lawsuits if it is signed into law.”
The organization said the flaws in the bill were almost too numerous to count.
“A.B. 1104 makes no exception for satire and parody, leaving The Onion and Saturday Night Live open to accusations of illegal content,” they wrote. “Nor does it exempt news organizations who quote deceptive statements made by politicians in their online reporting – even if their reporting is meant to debunk those claims. And what of everyday citizens who are duped by misleading materials: if 1,000 Californians retweet an incorrect statement by a presidential candidate, have they all broken the law?”
It doesn’t appear that California Democrats are going to go through with this disastrous bill, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be back with similar legislation in the future. And there IS NO version of political censorship legislation that can pass constitutional muster…unless, of course, extremist liberals gain control of the Supreme Court.
Fortunately, this is the one area where we can count on the liberals in the media to stand up for what’s right. They’re willing to submit to the rules of Political Correctness, but they will never stand for a politician who tries to turn those rules into law. Furthermore, the Trump Era, which is tied into this “fake news” hysteria, has been a profit bonanza for media corporations that were facing serious financial problems only a couple of years ago. They may hate Trump and the forces they blame for his election, but they aren’t hating the money. Why kill the golden goose?
If fake news is a legitimate problem, it isn’t nearly as much of a problem as censorship. This bill wouldn’t put us on a slippery slope; it would be a free-fall drop into the abyss of tyranny.
Once again, the true fascists are revealed.