News outlets and publishers who use their platform to spread propaganda on Facebook are now in the crosshairs of a new anti-spam law.
The California State Assembly is considering SB1029, a bill that would create a new class of “public relations” and “media bias” employees.
The legislation would require “public media outlets to disclose, in writing, any relationships, associations, business relationships, financial relationships, or political action, or any other relationship, association, business relationship, financial relationship, or other relationship with any person, entity, or entity in violation of California law.”
The legislation also would prohibit “disseminating information, in whole or in part, that could cause or contribute to the spread of false, misleading, deceptive, or otherwise misleading information or information that is false, deceptive or otherwise false.”
The bill’s passage comes as the tech sector is facing an avalanche of allegations of corporate influence on the political process.
In the last month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has faced a wave of criticism for the way he handled the election, as well as a series of investigations into his company’s use of data mining tools, which he said were necessary to improve its ads.
Zuckerberg has denied wrongdoing and called the investigations “completely unfounded.”
“These are allegations of fraud and are completely without merit,” Zuckerberg said in a statement at the time.
The bill has been met with widespread skepticism, with many critics calling the bill a “smear campaign” aimed at the tech media industry.
But in an interview with Recode, former California Attorney General Mike Feuer warned against interpreting the law as a sweeping anti-tech crackdown.
“It’s not a blanket prohibition on any kind of media outlet,” Feuer said.
Feuer also pointed out that the bill is only one of several proposals that the Assembly is expected to consider on Tuesday. “
There’s no such thing as a ‘blanket prohibition’ on these kinds a misleading and deceptive reporting that could actually affect the outcome of a political election.”
Feuer also pointed out that the bill is only one of several proposals that the Assembly is expected to consider on Tuesday.
He warned that it is possible that the bills’ chances of passing will depend on the state’s political climate.
“When the state has been very hostile to these types of bills, it tends to be that they just don’t pass,” he said.