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AB-35 Social media platforms: false information.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 07/01/2021 09:00 PM
AB35:v95#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  July 01, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 28, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 24, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 15, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 35


Introduced by Assembly Member Chau

December 07, 2020


An act to add Chapter 22.3.5 (commencing with Section 22595) to Division 8 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to false information.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 35, 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, 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 a person that operates a social media platform, as defined, to disclose whether or not that social media platform has a policy or mechanism in place to address the spread of misinformation, as specified. The bill would require the disclosure to be made easily accessible on the social media platform’s website and mobile application. The bill would authorize the Attorney General or any district attorney, county counsel, or city attorney to enforce violations of its provisions and would subject a person to a civil penalty of $1,000 for each day the person is in violation of the bill’s provisions after having received notice of the violation. a specified amount depending on the number of violations.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Chapter 22.3.5 (commencing with Section 22595) is added to Division 8 of the Business and Professions Code, to read:
CHAPTER  22.3.5. False Information

22595.
 (a) A person that operates a social media platform shall disclose whether or not that social media platform has a policy or mechanism in place to address the spread of misinformation with respect to, at a minimum, all of the following:
(1) Reducing the spread of misinformation that contributes to the risk of imminent violence or physical harm.
(2) Reducing the spread of harmful, verifiably inauthentic content.
(3) Practices intended to deceptively and substantially manipulate or disrupt the behavior of users on the social media platform.
(b) A person that operates a social media platform shall make the disclosure required by subdivision (a) easily accessible on the social media platform’s internet website and mobile application, as applicable.
(c) (1) Upon receiving notice that a A person that is in violation of this section, that person section shall be subject to a civil penalty of one thousand dollars ($1,000) per day for each day that person remains in violation of this section after the date upon which the notice was received. in an amount not to exceed the following:
(A) Five thousand dollars ($5,000) for the first violation.
(B) Ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for the second violation.
(C) Twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) for the third and each subsequent violation.
(2) The civil penalty prescribed by this subdivision shall be assessed and recovered in a civil action brought in the name of the people of the State of California by the Attorney General or by any district attorney, county counsel, or city attorney in any court of competent jurisdiction.
(3) If an action is brought by the Attorney General, one-half of the penalty collected pursuant to this section shall be paid to the treasurer of the county in which the judgment was entered, and one-half to the State Treasurer. If brought by a district attorney or county counsel, the entire amount of the penalty collected shall be paid to the treasurer of the county in which the judgment was entered. If brought by a city attorney or city prosecutor, one-half of the penalty shall be paid to the treasurer of the county in which the judgment was entered and one-half to the city.
(d) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Person” means a natural person or a legal entity.
(2) (A) “Social media platform” means an internet-based service 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 that generated at least one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000) in gross revenue during the preceding calendar year and allows individuals to do all of the following:
(i) Construct a public or semipublic profile within a bounded system created by the service.
(ii) Create a list of other users with whom an individual shares a connection within the system.
(iii) View and navigate a list of the individual’s connections and the connections made by other individuals within the system. other users’ individual connections.
(B) “Social media platform” does not include any of the following:
(i) Electronic mail. mail and direct messaging between users or groups of users.
(ii) A comment section on a digital news internet website. website, or consumer reviews of products and services on an online commerce internet website.
(iii) An internet-based subscription streaming service that is offered to consumers for the exclusive purpose of transmitting licensed media, including audio or video files, in a continuous flow from the internet-based service to the end user.
(iv) Services that operate for the sole purpose of cloud storage or shared document or file collaboration.
(v) Services that operate for the sole purpose of providing, creating, or interacting with data visualization platforms, libraries, or hubs.
(e) The duties and obligations imposed by this chapter are cumulative to any other duties or obligations imposed under other law and shall not be construed to relieve any party from any duties or obligations imposed under other law.