California may create a fake news advisory group as a way of clamping down on the spread of inaccurate information across social media, CBS Sacramento reported.
Under Senate Bill 1424, the California Attorney General would have until April 1, 2019, to create an advisory committee that would have to develop a plan to address the spread of false information online, to be presented to the Legislature by Dec. 31, 2019.
The group, which would need to feature representatives from the Department of Justice as well as social media providers, First Amendment scholars and civil liberties advocates, would also be tasked with establishing criteria to identify what "fake news" is.
The Internet Society defines "fake news" as news stories that have been debunked by six major fact-checking services.
The organization further noted that this type of news can spread 10 times faster than legitimate news stories.
MindEdge recently conducted a national survey of 1,002 college students and recent graduates, which found that 59 percent of respondents felt "very confident" in their so-called soft skills, including critical thinking, yet, when confronted with a nine-question quiz designed to gauge their ability to detect fake news, a majority receive a failing grade.
There are ongoing efforts to tackle the pending issue of "fake news," and Senate Bill 1424 is just one of them, but not everyone is on board.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has called the measure both "flawed" and "misguided," saying it would ultimately put government and the advisory group in charge of determining what is "fake news," CBS Sacramento said.
Meanwhile, in preparation of the 2018 midterm elections, social media sites such as Facebook have been working to eliminate fake accounts and fake news as ongoing efforts to prevent election interference.
Twitter meanwhile announced intentions to add special labels to tweets from some U.S. political candidates as a way of providing "authentic information" and preventing fake accounts from fooling users.
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