BREAKING NEWS – The public is no longer trusted to determine if a news post online is true or false and we’ll now have to do some major fact checking before posting our next tweet. That is if California’s state senator Richard Pan has things done his way from now on. His recently proposed bill will force California residents with basically any form of online presence to fact check everything they write or share and to specifically advise when a news story isn’t 100 percent accurate. If this bill passes, imagine how much longer it will take just to share a friggin’ article or video.
While California is often more liberal when it comes to their lawmaking, it’s likely that this bill was inspired by the result of the 2016 and the gullibility of Trump supporters who thought false ads and posts created by Russian trolls were telling the truth simply because they were on the internet. Obviously, the generation who wasn’t raised using this kind of technology has a bit of learning to do. Here’s a look at how this bill might affect us if it’s passed and spreads to other states.
Fact-Checkers Would Be More Popular Than Ever
Think fact checking seminars, certification programs, and college courses. It will become the next hottest career track that will gain popularity and lose steam the second people realize that most of what fact checking is, is the need for common sense. Something the people of this country are clearly lacking in. Either that or it’ll become a far less desirable career choice once the punishment for failing to adequately fact check something that has published is decided. It might be a small fine. It might be jail time. It might be complete banishment from the internet. Likely it will be pretty strict at first, and nothing is worse than being banned from social media use. Then there’s the punishment to consider for major publications which fail to properly fact-check. If the Los Angeles Times accidentally publishes a wrong quote or misspells someone’s name, will they get shut down? Seized? Labeled fake news? Just some things to think about.
The Internet Wouldn’t Be Fun Anymore
The internet is a magical place that allows us to connect with people all over the world, shop for toilet paper in our underwear, and learn everything and anything there is to know about an infinite number of topics. It’s also a place where people go to share their opinions, jokes, or even just to make up a bunch of crap in hopes of starting a bit of drama. This type of internet use is called entertainment as it entertains the viewers, the producers, or both. Having to fact check everything you write or share would make things like blogging and using Facebook feel more like a job. That’s not why people use the internet, unless, of course, their actual job consists of doing such things.
Say Goodbye To Freedom Of Speech
This proposed bill isn’t strictly focusing on members of the media or social media influencers. It’s targeting everyone. So your aunt or your grandpa who like to share everything they see on Facebook, most of which are obviously bogus, will be at risk for punishment if this is passed. Political satire might become a thing of the past. Satire, in general, might be forbidden. It’s not clear where the line is drawn. At what point is a Photoshopped picture considered fake news? If this bill gets through, imagine the chaos that will ensue when magazines can no longer Photoshop celebrity images. The public will riot when they learn that no one is “perfect,” not even the famous men and women they idolize. Then there’s the risk of posting an opinion. How long will it be before opinions are banned and considered fake news?
Just A Hop And Skip Away From A Dictatorship
Once we start losing our freedom of speech, it’s only a matter of time before other rights are compromised. Before you know it, the government will begin to control the media in order to be sure no fake news seeps through the cracks. Then, they’ll be able to control what news the public receives, making it easier for them to hide certain things. Things like when and where to vote. Government caused tragedies. Food shortages. After a while, the news becomes one uniform opinion designed by the government to ensure the public thinks a certain way. Rebels will start to appear, but no one will hear about them or their deaths. Anti-Muslim and anti-Mexican propaganda will slowly be introduced into our newsfeeds and newspapers. It’ll be done so covertly that few people will notice, and those who do won’t be able to share their opinions on the internet very long before they’re picked up by men in a black van. Food shortages will hit major cities, drastically affecting the population and ensuring governmental control. Eventually, Muslims and immigrants will be segregated from the community and sent to live in concentration camps. They’re slaughtered by the thousands, but no one knows because it’s kept out of the news. Before you know it we’ll be taking to the streets shouting “Heil Trump!” and bowing down to kiss the ground he walks on.
How We Can Prevent This
For one, California residents can ensure this bill isn’t passed. So, if you live in The Golden State get your butt to the polls. Additionally, we can get Trump out of office as soon as possible so the rest of the world stop laughing at us. Then just keep on sharing. Share your uneducated thoughts, your doctored photos, and your false fact memes. Our freedom depends on it!
Note: To keep in line with the requirements of the potential bill SB 1424 recently proposed by State Senator Richard Pan of California, I must declare that this article is satirical in nature, intended for entertainment purposes only. While the details of the aforementioned bill are accurate and cited from trustworthy news sources, the rest of the content here likely contains a lot of false information.
Author: Rose Burke
Freelance writer and art enthusiast, Rose Burke, often writes humorous essays inspired by awkward dating experiences and life’s cruel sense of humor. When she’s not doing that, she’s typically writing entertainment articles on women’s issues, politics, feminism, and other trending topics her readers love.
Her work has been published in The Southampton Review, The Conium Review, The Richest, The Independent, CINEMABLEND, and more. Author of the popular feminist blog series “Writings of the Satirical Feminista”, Rose is currently focusing on a collection of humorous personal essays while she travels the world.