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Proposed California Laws Aimed At Online COVID Information

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Sacramento, CA — Medical professionals who share information on social media deemed as “disinformation or misinformation” could risk losing their state medical license.

The proposed law’s author, Assemblyman Evan Low, argues that there is a small, well-funded, group of physicians who are speaking out against things like vaccines and COVID protocols. Under the proposed law, the state medical board would have to determine whether the doctor’s statements online prompted a patient to decline COVID prevention measures (vaccines) or treatments.  Opponents are arguing that the bill would violate federal free speech protections.

It is among a group of bills related to social media that are being proposed by a coalition of Democratic California state lawmakers.

A second bill, authored by Assemblyman Richard Pan, would require social media companies like Facebook and Twitter to disclose how their algorithms work to promote user content. Pan feels that minority health opinions are being promoted too widely.

Governor Gavin Newsom has not yet taken a stance on the proposals.