LOS ANGELES ( — A California state lawmaker wants to make it against the law to publish and spread so-called “fake news” that could potentially impact a political race.

Assembly Bill 1104, known as “The California Political Cyberfraud Abatement Act”, would amend the state elections code to add this language:

“It is unlawful for a person to knowingly and willingly make, publish or circulate on an Internet Web site, or cause to be made, published, or circulated in any writing posted on an Internet Web site, a false or deceptive statement designed to influence the vote on either of the following:

(a) Any issue submitted to voters at an election.

(b) Any candidate for election to public office.”

The legislation introduced by Assemblymember Ed Chau (D – Monterey Park) does not specify how the law would be enforced or any potential penalties that would be incurred, but it appears to be aimed at the “fake news” factor that many believe impacted the 2016 presidential election.

Privacy advocates like Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have warned the bill could result in “a chaotic free-for-all of mudslinging with candidates and others being accused of crimes at the slightest hint of hyperbole, exaggeration, poetic license, or common error.”



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