California bill would ban “fake news”

Notwithstanding 60 Minutes’ pathetic failure to demonize alternative media as “fake news” – which Mark Dice hilariously demonstrates as fake news itself – movements are afoot to develop legal tools to clamp down on any news that might get in the way of The Narrative. To wit, Ars Technica reports:

Here at Ars, we’re always on the lookout for wacky, tech-focused legislation. And we’ve found one bill that is certain to make our Top 10 list.

The new proposal bars the online publication of a “false or deceptive statement designed to influence the vote.” Bye-bye online news. On the flip side, this legislation would probably outlaw lawmakers’ and candidates’ online speech, too.

The bill is proposed by California Assemblyman Edwin “Ed” Chau, a Democrat representing a section of Southern California. The proposal, which is likely unconstitutional on its face, was supposed to have a committee hearing Tuesday afternoon, but it was pulled at the 11th hour.

The bill includes the following language:

SEC. 2. Section 18320.5 is added to the Elections Code, to read:

18320.5. It is unlawful for a person to knowingly and willingly make, publish or circulate on an Internet Web site, or cause to be made, published, or circulated in any writing posted 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.

(b) Any candidate for election to public office.

While Ars Technica’s David Kravets believes that this bill will “limp off into the ether”, there may come a time when it would not be appropriate to make such an optimistic assumption.


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