Bill requiring websites to disclose reasons for displaying content to be heard next week

Legislation that was introduced to provide social media users with more information about how websites prioritize stories and check for accuracy in story content will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

SB 1424 by Senator Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) would require a social media internet website, as defined, to prominently display a link to a disclosure informing users how the social media Internet Web site determines what content is displayed to the user in the course of using the social media site.

The bill’s definition of “social media internet website” is very broad and would include newspapers, among other media, that would be subject to the law’s requirements.

SB 1424 also would require asocial media internet website that utilizes “fact-checkers” to verify the accuracy of news stories to disclose:

(i) What policies and practices the fact-checkers use to determine what they consider accurate; and

(ii) What the social media Internet Web site does with content it determines is not accurate.

CNPA opposes the bill as well as the California Chamber of Commerce, the Internet Association and several social media companies.