2 Bills Introduced by California lawmakers Aim to Combat ‘Fake News’

The California State Capitol building is seen in a file photo. (Credit: Los Angeles Times)

Politicians and members of the media are increasingly bemoaning the rise of “fake news,” though rarely is there agreement on how to define it. But can this new phenomenon be legislated away?

Two separate bills introduced by Democratic lawmakers Wednesday aim to do just that by offering proposals that would help teach Californians to think more critically about the news they read online.

Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) has introduced a measure that would require the state to develop curriculum standards that incorporate “civic online reasoning” to teach students how to evaluate news they read on the Internet.

“Recently, we have seen the corrupting effects of a deliberate propaganda campaign driven by fake news,” Gomez said in a statement. “When fake news is repeated, it becomes difficult for the public to discern what’s real. These attempts to mislead readers pose a direct threat to our democracy.”

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