Gov Newsom Signs Social Media Hate Bill into Law; Here’s What That Means for CA Residents

California Governor Gavin Newsom just signed a new bill into law – A.B. 587.

Aiming to create transparency around social media platforms, the law hopes to protect residents from “hate” and “disinformation” when they go on social media.

The A.B. 587 requires social media companies to publicly post their policies regarding hate speech, disinformation, harassment and extremism and to report data on how and how well they enforce these policies.

In addition, the law requires platforms to file reports to the state’s AG several times a year that disclose their policies on hate speech, extremism and disinformation. The AG’s office is then required “to make all terms of service reports submitted pursuant to those provisions available to the public in a searchable repository,” which will be hosted on the office’s official website.

Newsom said of the law’s goals, “California will not stand by as social media is weaponized to spread hate and disinformation that threaten our communities and foundational values as a country.” Newsom says California “deserve to know” how social media shifts public opinion, and the law is an attempt to hold the platforms accountable.

It’s the newest effort among state leaders across the country to combat what many see as a worrying amount of influence on public opinion coming from social media. Both sides of the aisle have concerns about how deeply social media is impacting youth who interact with these platforms, and both Dems and Repubs are taking different approaches to combat it.

California has also recently passed the “California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act,” which hopes to force social media companies to take the mental, emotional and physical impacts that their platforms have on minors.


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