We’ve seen the how voices in our online discourse can shift our democracy, but are they real? Marc’s bill AB1950 would require social media companies to label profiles that they confirm are ‘bots.’
“From Big Tech to social media startups, it’s clear that self-regulation is failing society and damaging our democracy,” said Assemblymember Marc Levine. “Sensible laws can finally bring accountability for unregulated and misleading use of social media.”
AB 1950 is a response to automated and fake accounts that spread misinformation and engage in abusive online behavior. According to the Digital Forensic Research Lab, bots are automated accounts which can post retweets or likes without any intervention from an actual human. In the political sphere, the Digital Forensic Research lab explains that these bots are usually used to make small groups look like they have a larger following and base of support. By identifying bots, users will be better informed and able to identify whether or not the power of a group’s influence is legitimate. This will mitigate the promulgation of misinformation and influence of unauthentic social media campaigns.