Red state-blue state divide in the fight over truth

In the absence of significant US federal action on disinformation, state officials are introducing a flurry of Bills targeted at the sources of disinformation and the platforms that propagate them.

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To fight disinformation, California lawmakers are advancing a Bill that would force social media companies to divulge their process for removing false, hateful or extremist material from their platforms. Texas lawmakers, by contrast, want to ban the largest of the companies - Facebook, Twitter and YouTube - from removing posts because of political points of view.

In Washington, the state attorney-general persuaded a court to fine a non-profit and its lawyer US$28,000 (S$39,250) for filing a baseless legal challenge to the 2020 governor's race. In Alabama, lawmakers want to allow people to seek financial damages from social media platforms that shut down their accounts for having posted false content.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 12, 2022, with the headline Red state-blue state divide in the fight over truth. Subscribe