Legislation

State lawmakers propose bills to teach California students how to spot fake news

The president-elect says it is disgraceful that the intelligence agencies let out false information

 

A pair of California lawmakers introduced bills Wednesday in hopes it will combat the wave of fake news that trickled to the forefront of the 2016 presidential election.

Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez wants high schools to teach students how to spot the different between real news from fake.

Gomez, a Los Angeles Democrat, said students should learn reasoning skills to assess what they read online.

"Recently, we have seen the corrupting effects of a deliberate propaganda campaign driven by fake news," Gomez said in a statement. "When fake news is repeated, it becomes difficult for the public to discern what's real. These attempts to mislead readers pose a direct threat to our democracy."

AB155 would commission new curriculum standards that include strategies for identifying false reports.

According to the Los Angeles Times, state Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, proposed a separate bill to piggyback off of Gomez’s fight against fake news. Dodd’s bill proposes that requires the state education board to start a “media literacy” curriculum.

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Dodd called the rise of fake news “deeply concerning” and added that it’s also concerning people can’t distinguish between what’s fact and what’s fiction.

The problem of false reports masquerading as news emerged as a major issue of the 2016 election. Many such reports were shared widely on social media during the campaign.

Gomez insists fake news poses "a direct threat to our democracy."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Click for more from the Los Angeles Times.