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AB-2442 Social media platforms: false information.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 04/30/2020 09:00 PM
AB2442:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 04, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2442


Introduced by Assembly Member Chau

February 19, 2020


An act to add and repeal Title 14.5 (commencing with Section 3085) of to Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code, relating to false information.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2442, as amended, Chau. Social media platforms: false information.
Existing law prohibits a person, among others, from making or disseminating in any advertising device, or in any manner or means whatever, including over the Internet, internet, any statement concerning real or personal property or services that is untrue or misleading, as specified. Existing law defines libel as a false and unprivileged publication, including by writing, printing, or picture, that exposes any person to hatred, contempt, and ridicule, among other things.

This bill would require the Attorney General, upon receipt of sufficient private funds, as specified, to establish an advisory group consisting of at least one member of the Department of Justice, as well as Internet-based social media providers, civil liberties advocates, and First Amendment scholars to study the problem of false information spread through Internet-based social media platforms, and to draft a model strategic plan for Internet-based social media platforms to use to mitigate this. The bill would require the Attorney General to present the results of the study and the model strategic plan to the Legislature and specified legislative committees, subject to a specified time line. The bill would repeal its provisions if sufficient private funds are not received by December 31, 2023.

This bill would require a person that operates a social media platform to disclose whether or not that social media platform has a policy to address the spread of misinformation, as specified. The bill would provide 30 days to cure a violation of its provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YESNO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Title 14.5 (commencing with Section 3085) is added to Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code, to read:

TITLE 14.5. False Information Strategic Plans

3085.

The Attorney General shall, subject to the limitations of subdivision (d), establish an advisory group consisting of at least one member of the Department of Justice, Internet-based social media providers, civil liberties advocates, and First Amendment scholars, to do both of the following:

(a)Study the problem of the spread of false information through Internet-based social media platforms.

(b)Draft a model strategic plan for Internet-based social media platforms to use to mitigate the spread of false information through their platforms.

(c)Not later than one year after the notice required by paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) has been published, present the results of the study and the model strategic plan to the Legislature, pursuant to Section 9795 of the Government Code, and to the Assembly and Senate Committees on Judiciary.

(d)(1)The performance of the duties imposed on the Attorney General by subdivisions (a) to (c), inclusive, is contingent on the receipt of sufficient private funding to complete them. Funding shall be submitted to the Attorney General for deposit in the False Information Strategic Plans Fund, which is hereby created in the State Treasury and any moneys deposited in this fund shall be subject to appropriation by the Legislature. The Department of Finance shall determine the amount necessary to fund the advisory group and its operations. Upon a determination that sufficient funds have been received, the Attorney General shall publish notice of this fact on its internet website.

(2)If the funds required under paragraph (1) have not been received, and the necessary notice published, by December 31, 2023, this title, as of that date, is repealed

3085.
 (a) A person that operates a social media platform shall disclose whether or not that social media platform has a policy to address the spread of misinformation with respect to, at a minimum, all of the following:
(1) Intentionally misleading or inaccurate content purported as fact.
(2) Coordinated and deceptive promotion or suppression of information.
(3) Practices intended to materially and substantially manipulate or disrupt the behavior of users on the social media platform.
(b) A person that operates a social media platform shall conspicuously make the disclosure required by subdivision (a) in both of the following ways:
(1) Upon initiation of use, or upon registration required for use, of the social media platform.
(2) In the terms of service maintained, and made publicly available on the social media platform, by the person.
(c) A person that operates a social media platform shall be in violation of this section if the person, within 30 days of being notified of noncompliance, fails to comply with the provisions of this section in any of the following ways:
(1) Knowingly and willfully.
(2) Negligently and materially.
(3) Repeatedly and excessively.
(d) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Person” means a natural person or a legal entity.
(2) “Social media platform” means an internet platform through which users develop a persistent virtual network or community comprised of other users for the purpose of sharing information, ideas, news reports, and other content.