California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill Thursday, SB 1424, that would have created a state advisory group to study the problem of “fake news” and make recommendations for intervening in social media to deal with it.
As Breitbart News reported in April, the original bill was far more aggressive: “The bill, filed quietly in late February as SB 1424, requires all California-based websites to develop a plan to fight ‘fake news,’ to use ‘fact-checkers,’ and to warn readers — including via social media — of ‘false information.’”
The final version was significantly watered down. Still, Brown vetoed it as “unnecessary,” in a statement reported by CBS Sacramento:
This bill directs the Attorney General to establish an advisory group to study the problem of the spread of false information through Internet-based social media platforms. As evidenced by the numerous studies by academic and policy groups on the spread of false information, the creation of a statutory advisory group to examine this issue is not necessary.
Social media companies have instituted a number of mechanisms to fight “fake news,” though conservatives have complained that these are often censorship in another guise.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.