Editor’s Note: California may set the tone for a national conversation and perhaps even set of laws addressing what the state’s lawmakers deem “false information … spread online.” Since political motivation and ideology often underly what one deems “fake news” this proposed move should be especially concerning for those who truly cherish free thought and expression. As the article below suggests, Facebook’s recent nod to corporate media outlets as an antithesis to “fake news” has demonstrated how such an effort is likely to be instituted in California and elsewhere. The Electronic Frontier Foundation argues that the law is dangerous because it places the governing body in a position to determine what is true and false.

The proposed speech legislation was introduced by California State Senator Richard Pan, a practicing pediatrician and the principal lawmaker behind SB277, the state’s mandatory vaccination law. A voter-driven campaign in 2015 to have Pan ousted from office was not successful.

California State Senator Richard Pan. Image Credit: Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

CBS13 Sacramento reports:

California is considering creating a “fake news” advisory group in order to monitor information posted and spread on social media.

Senate Bill 1424 would require the California Attorney General to create the advisory committee by April 1, 2019. It would need to consist of at least one person from the Department of Justice, representatives from social media providers, civil liberties advocates, and First Amendment scholars.

The advisory group would be required to study how false information is spread online and come up with a plan for social media platforms to fix the problem. The Attorney General would then need to present that plan to the Legislature by December 31, 2019. The group would also need to come up with criteria establishing what is “fake news” versus what is inflammatory or one-sided.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation opposes the bill, calling it “flawed” and “misguided.” The group argues the measure would make the government and advisory group responsible for deciding what is true or false. It also points out the First Amendment prevents content-based restrictions, even if the statements of “admittedly false.”

A recent study by Massachusetts-based MindEdge Learning was conducted with 1,000 young adults, ages 18 to 31-years-old. According to MindEdge’s nine-question survey, 52 percent of the respondents incorrectly answered at least four questions and received a failing grade. The number of young adults who could detect false information on the internet went down by all of the group’s measures. Only 19 percent of the college students and grads scored an “A” by getting eight or nine questions correct. That number is down from 24 percent in last year’s survey.

Facebook recently did away with its “Trending News” section – calling it outdated and unpopular. That section was criticized in the past after reports came out claiming the human editors were biased against conservatives. After Facebook fired those editors, the algorithms it replaced them with couldn’t always distinguish real news from fake.

After the 2016 election, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg denied that fake news spread on the social site he oversees influenced the outcome- calling the idea “crazy.”

A previous bill, AB 155, would have required schools to teach students the difference between “fake news” and “real news.” It died in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.

The current bill SB 1424 was authored by Senator Dr. Richard Pan. It passed the Senate on May 30, 2018 by a vote of 25-11. It will be heard by the Assembly Arts, Entertainment, Sports, tourism, and Internet Media Committee on Tuesday.

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11 thought on “California Considers Monitoring Online Speech”
  1. “Only 26 percent of the adults polled recognized all five of the factual statements as such. About 35 percent recognized all of the opinion statements as opinion.”


    California public schools are ranked near the bottom of the 50 states, and that less than one in three graduates will go on to earn a college degree. Perhaps, cutting back on vast over-paid agency employees, and devoting more resources to developing critical thinking, functionally literate graduates would serve the perceived “fake news” crisis better.

  2. Steps to become a Marxist Society:

    1.) Squash Religion: Check!
    2.) Squelch Free Speech: Check!
    3.) annihilate Art: Check!
    4.) Extinguish Literature: Check!
    5.) Abandon Free Market Economics: Check

    While the United States of America may still have more freedoms than most other countries, we have nonetheless lost many crucial liberties and have accepted the major socialist attacks on freedom and private property as normal parts of our way of life. The nation, whose founders included such individualists as Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, James Madison, John Adams and Patrick Henry, has gradually turned away from the principles of individual rights, limited constitutional government, private property, and free markets and instead we increasingly have embraced the failed ideas and nostrums of socialism and fascism. We should hang our heads in shame for having allowed this to happen.

    1. This is an excellent comment Winston. The contrast between the dramatic differences in the way Landlords are treated compared to store front businesses is a perfect example of how our governments are gang raping the basic principles of both most State and the Federal Constitution every day in the matter of evicting a tenant or patron of a business. A Landlord is generally referred to as one who rents apartments, houses, mobile homes or even commercial buildings on a longer term basis say months or years, compared to store front businesses say like hotels and motels which rent on short terms like days or weeks or store front businesses which deal with the public in walk in or drive in trade compared to Landlords who often work out of homes or small offices off the main drag. Imagine, for example, if a patron of a store front business were causing a problem in a store. Normally the police are called and the police evict the person immediately don’t they for free to the owners of the business. Suppose instead when the police arrived at this store front business they told the manager he could not touch the person causing the disturbance and must go to civil court and have the problem customer served with a court summons and go to court for a hearing before he or the police could remove him or her from the premises. Well now you know what Landlords are forced to do every day. This is a massive scam being run by the total outlaws lawmakers in our States, which started mostly in cesspools New York, California and Florida, but this con has mushroomed to most of the others today. Motels and Hotels are also provided special favored treatment where police evict deadbeat tenants for “free” for those owners using the “criminal” procedure, while lowly Landlords are illegally and unconstitutionally forced, in most jurisdictions, to use the slow, expensive and totally unfair “civil” procedure which permits deadbeat tenants to camp out and continue to live on other’s properties without paying rent and while possibly continuing to destroy the premises. This is a massive scam the corrupt lawyers have foisted on lowly landlords while store front businesses have unruly tenants or customers evicted immediately by police for FREE using the criminal procedure. What is going on here is totally illegal and unconstitutional and violates equal protection clauses in most State Constitutions as well as a clause in the U.S. Constitution which states basically, “No State may pass any law impairing the obligations of a contract” which they routinely do with impunity and the U.S. Supreme Court, which cherry picks its cases, has winked at this outrageous nonsense. A lawyer in Florida told me it has gotten so bad there they have resorted to paying deadbeat lying tenants to move! This is a perfect example of how this country has degenerated straight down the sewer. In Georgia this illegal procedure is basically being used to illegally raise billions of dollars to operate its unfair, expensive and illegal Kangaroo Courts. In New York it is so bad, no judge will evict a tenant in the fall, but instead waits until spring favoring the feelings of the deadbeat tenants. Some landlords have resorted to stealing civil papers out of mailboxes as a last resort so tenants can be evicted due to failure to answer a court summons! This country is a disgusting expletive deleted disgrace and our totally corrupt “elected” lawmakers aided by lying lawyers did all this to us.
      America is gone folks and perhaps never was as falsely presented in all the lying high school history books.
      Winfield J. Abbe, Ph.D., Physics

  3. Thanks for this informative article, Florida and California seem to be ground zero for attacks against our constitutional rights. There is a bright young man named Eric Frame running against Pan in the November election. I urge anyone who is alarmed by this bill to consider supporting his candidacy, Eric Frame for Senate 2018.

  4. My late Father, who was from Minnesota and a very intelligent citizen with a mechanical engineering degree from the U of M, spent nearly 2/3 of his life in California. I grew up there from 1940-1966. He called it “the Kook Capital of the world” and this was a very intelligent claim. I am not opposed to vaccinations to prevent diseases. However it is always good to have alternatives to any procedure medical or otherwise. Many poor countries can’t afford vaccinations so a less expensive alternative would be good. Also some people are allergic to vaccinations, or object to them, so an alternative would benefit them. It is never a good procedure to place all one’s eggs in one basket. But I would bet this medical doctor Dr. Pan, M.D. has never read the seminal papers of the late Fred Klenner, M.D. (1907-1984) who cured all childhood viral diseases up to and including polio with high dose Vitamin C mainly given intravenously to get a high enough concentration in the bloodstream. This was published in medical journals before 1949 and before the vaccine was approved. This information has been criminally obstructed by the FDA. Here are two links to articles on this subject:
    The real problem with the internet is not with citizen posts, but with government false information and deliberate lies being accepted as fact without any proper verification. For example, all these fake school shootings are false flag events staged and promoted by government to promote the gun control agenda. Yet the government is lying to citizens about this and there is no practical way to force the government to admit their lies, as with the Sandy Hook School Shooting hoax for example and all the rest. Even if this proposed ridiculous law from the Kook Capital of the world were to become law, I am quite sure this will add nothing to aid citizens in forcing the government to admit the truth of their many lies via secret agencies like the secret outlaw CIA for example. I would recommend ditching this disgusting proposal before it comes back to bite all of us. Dr. Pan would do himself and the rest of his patients a favor by reading the articles by Fred R. Klenner, M.D. above and using what influence he has, to end the criminal stonewall of this fabulous use of Vitamin C for about 70 years and counting. Vitamin C is cheap, safe and quick. Almost all animals make their own Vitamin C; humans do not. This is why it is so very important to take much more than the trivial approved amount of 60 mgm per day to prevent scurvy as approved by the corrupt criminals at the FDA.
    Winfield J. Abbe, Ph.D., Physics

    1. My wife and I read your posts over coffee and find them outstanding. The “Open Letter” to a Dr. Tipton at Yale University resonated a great deal.

      Our teenagers were in Building 1200 at Douglas. Do you believe Parkland was as phony as Sandy Hook? The only analysis we can find is Fetzer’s and, truthfully, he falls back on Sandy Hook when “explaining” Parkland. Thank you.

        1. Thank you Dr. Tracy. We’ll read with interest. Please know, if you ever write a book about your experience, we’ll immediately purchase and expect many many others will do the same!

      1. Thank you for your kind comments. As I am sure you know, there are well established strict rules for all crime scene investigations. These have evolved over centuries all over the world. They are based on the laws of physics, causality, causal relationships between any weapons used and the cause of death as described by an independent highly qualified medical examiner, pictures of the crime scene, and so on. All other sciences are also involved, chemistry, biology, medicine, genetics, geology, etc. In a legal court case of a crime, all this scientific evidence from the crime scene is provided to both sides and the judge of any dispute. So far as I know none of it has been provided to the public in this case or any of the other many apparent false flag events either. The authorities seek to fool the public into forming conclusions, not based on the scientific evidence gathered at the crime scene, but on totally unreliable media reports. I believe that until they provide all the public with all their scientific evidence, collected in the appropriate manner, in a timely way, from the crime scene, all time and date stamped, and signed, nothing they claim can be believed. All autopsies must also be provided along with the name and qualifications of the medical examiner who must also be available for questioning as to the statements and conclusions in the report. Most of these folks are happy and eager to answer any questions about their results. My late father died in a public swimming pool. His body was immediately taken to the medical examiner’s office in Los Angeles. The report was hundreds of pages as is typical for all autopsies. My brother went down to LA and the medical examiner spent hours talking to him about the report. Nothing was secret or hidden. Everything was honest and above board as it should and must be. None of these school shootings are treated in this way. Therefore I do not believe the media claims and must conclude they are staged events to promote the gun control agenda of the powers that be. Because all the detailed evidence is not presented to the public, conclusions may not be fully supported. But obviously they have plenty to hide so the lack of evidence and facts, which they use the full armed military force of government to hide, must act against their claims. All the lawyers in the country know all this. All the crime scene investigators in the country know all this. Observe their deafening silence too. Basically these are all sympathy scams, where sympathy for the alleged victims, diverts attention from the human brain, to alleged victims, to hide the truth of what happened. This is why the sympathy scam is among the most powerful of scams. This is why the evil folks who planned all of them use this type of con. It is an age old racket. Nothing new here at all. No one should believe any claims of authorities without all the normal scientific proof collected in the approved and proper and timely way from the actual crime scene.

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