Bill Text: CA AB35 | 2021-2022 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Social media platforms: false information.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-01-11 - Referred to Coms. on JUD. and A.,E.,S.,T., & I.M. [AB35 Detail]

Download: California-2021-AB35-Introduced.html


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 35


Introduced by Assembly Member Chau

December 07, 2020


An act to add Chapter 22.4 (commencing with Section 22595) to Division 8 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to false information.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 35, as introduced, Chau. Social media platforms: false information.
Existing law prohibits a person, among others, from making or disseminating in any advertising device, or in any manner or means whatever, including over the internet, any statement concerning real or personal property or services that is untrue or misleading, as specified. Existing law defines libel as a false and unprivileged publication, including by writing, printing, or picture, that exposes any person to hatred, contempt, and ridicule, among other things.
This bill would require a person that operates a social media platform, as defined, to disclose whether or not that social media platform has a policy or mechanism in place to address the spread of misinformation, as specified. The bill would require the disclosure to be made easily accessible on the social media platform’s website and mobile application. The bill would authorize the Attorney General or any district attorney, county counsel, or city attorney to enforce violations of its provisions and would subject a person to a civil penalty of $1,000 for each day the person is in violation of the bill’s provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Chapter 22.4 (commencing with Section 22595) is added to Division 8 of the Business and Professions Code, to read:
CHAPTER  22.4. False Information

22595.
 (a) A person that operates a social media platform shall disclose whether or not that social media platform has a policy or mechanism in place to address the spread of misinformation with respect to, at a minimum, all of the following:
(1) Reducing the spread of misinformation that contributes to the risk of imminent violence or physical harm.
(2) Reducing the spread of harmful, verifiably inauthentic content.
(3) Practices intended to deceptively and substantially manipulate or disrupt the behavior of users on the social media platform.
(b) A person that operates a social media platform shall make the disclosure required by subdivision (a) easily accessible on the social media platform’s internet website and mobile application.
(c) (1) A person shall be subject to a civil penalty of one thousand dollars ($1,000) per day for each day that person is in violation of this section.
(2) The civil penalty prescribed by this subdivision shall be assessed and recovered in a civil action brought in the name of the people of the State of California by the Attorney General or by any district attorney, county counsel, or city attorney in any court of competent jurisdiction.
(3) If an action is brought by the Attorney General, one-half of the penalty collected pursuant to this section shall be paid to the treasurer of the county in which the judgment was entered, and one-half to the State Treasurer. If brought by a district attorney or county counsel, the entire amount of the penalty collected shall be paid to the treasurer of the county in which the judgment was entered. If brought by a city attorney or city prosecutor, one-half of the penalty shall be paid to the treasurer of the county in which the judgment was entered and one-half to the city.
(d) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Person” means a natural person or a legal entity.
(2) (A) “Social media platform” means an internet-based service through which users develop a persistent virtual network or community comprised of other users for the purpose of sharing information, ideas, news reports, and other content that allows individuals to do all of the following:
(i) Construct a public or semipublic profile within a bounded system created by the service.
(ii) Create a list of other users with whom an individual shares a connection within the system.
(iii) View and navigate a list of the individual’s connections and the connections made by other individuals within the system.
(B) “Social media platform” does not include electronic mail.

feedback