So now California’s legislature has decided “you know what, fuck the First Amendment!” Because, I guess, California. What the hell, California? Is it something in the water? Is smoke from all the fires killing brain cells out there? What is is? Excerpt:
California is one step away from going down the unconstitutional road of government-mandated censorship of Internet speech. The California Senate and State Assembly recently passed S.B. 1424, the “Internet: social media: advisory group” act. This fake news advisory act is now on the desk of Governor Jerry Brown for his signature.
According to Section 3085 of the legislation:
The Attorney General shall, subject to the limitations of subdivision (d), establish an advisory group consisting of at least one member of the Department of Justice, Internet-based social media providers, civil liberties advocates, and First Amendment scholars, to do both of the following:
(a) Study the problem of the spread of false information through Internet-based social media platforms.
(b) Draft a model strategic plan for Internet-based social media platforms to use to mitigate the spread of false information through their platforms.
It’s hard to imagine those voting for the bill were motivated by good intentions. In any case, good intentions are not enough. Is it hard to imagine the results of the law will be censorship of views that politicians disagree with and views critical of politicians?
Most likely, Californians are not concerned about “fact-checking” content like “a mile is 5290 feet” or an appeal to form a flat Earth Facebook group; such content poses no threat to entrenched interests. Instead, “fact-checking” will be deployed against those who express doubt, for example, about climate change, vaccine safety, or “educating” children about gender dysphoria.
This is, again, an argument for making sure governments at all levels are well and truly bound within very, very narrow limits of power. Otherwise you get shit like this; assholes thinking, “you know, people put out all kinds of stuff on the internets; someone should be keeping an eye out to make sure only government-approved information is on there.”
What’s left unsaid is the very real likelihood that the California Legislature, having ensured one-party rule through the jungle primary system, is now aiming at a system that will let them silence their political opposition for good and all.
But there’s a bright side: It’s going to be fun watching them get slapped down by the liberal Ninth Circuit.