Fight Misleading Social Media Bots
At a time when kids and adults alike are getting more and more of their news and information online, millions of bots (automated accounts) are misleading us and disrupting our democracy. With SB 1001, California can create more transparency on social media for a more informed experience for our kids, and all consumers, online.
What you need to know:
- Sixty-seven percent of Americans say they get their news from social media (Pew Research Center, News Use Across Social Media Platforms, 2017).
- Half of children say they get their news from online platforms, and only 44 percent of kids age 10 to 18 say they can tell fake news stories from real ones (Common Sense, News and America's Kids: How Young People Perceive and Are Impacted by the News, 2017).
- There are an estimated 48 million bots on Twitter (Science, Vol. 439, "The Science of Fake News"), and Facebook estimates that 150 million users were exposed to content from bots during the 2016 election.
- There are useful bots, like the chatbots that help users navigate customer service on a site or that keep you posted on earthquakes around the state.
- Bots were a central part of the foreign interference in the 2016 U.S. election and are now targeting false information more widely. One recent instance of this inflamed online conversations about the recent Parkland, Florida, shooting.
- Bots have yet to be regulated in any way by Washington, D.C.
- Require social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to label bots as nonhuman.
- Allow users to report unidentified bots and require social media platforms to respond to such reports and provide related information to the California attorney general.
- Not affect the use of bots that are already identified as nonhuman, as is the case with many companies' helpful bots.