A bill has been filed in the California State Assembly that aims to criminalize the spread so-called “false or deceptive” information despite critics calling it “disastrous for free speech.” The move is part of a crackdown by liberals in the state legislature on so-called “fake news” – a difficult term to define.
If passed, Assembly Bill 1104, known as “The California Political Cyberfraud Abatement Act”, would amend the state elections code. On Wednesday saw the bill filed to the California Assembly’s Committee on Privacy and Consumer Affairs. The bill was introduced in February by Democratic Assemblyman Ed Chau.
The Gateway Pundit reports:
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.
Last month, Democratic State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson also filed a bill that intends to teach students in public schools how to spot “fake news.”
AB 1104 was initially scheduled to have its first hearing on Monday, but was pulled by its author amid massive objections from free speech advocates.