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California Lawmakers Push Online ID Verification Bill That Would Require Platforms To ID “Users With Large Audiences”

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The presidential election fever in the US is rising, and from pretty much every corner its participants are trying to “stack the chips” in their (candidate’s) favor.

Much easier to do, isn’t it, when you’re already in power.

With that in mind, never discount California Democrats, and now Alejandro (Alex) Padilla is attempting to charge ahead with “election misinformation” legislation.

Padilla is not just any California Democrat, either – he was the state secretary for six years until 2021, and a member of the State Senate for the LA City Council, before Governor Gavin Newsom shipped him off to the US Senate to replace Kamala Harris.

Despite what was implied (and by and large refuted) regarding Big Tech platforms’ role and influence in 2016, now the accent is on the suspected negative role of AI, presented as fact – and now Padilla and “partners” apparently want that to be written in law.

In particular, “users with large audiences or spreading large amounts of AI-generated content” would have to operate with user IDs, according to the line ID verification bill (SB 1228).

We obtained a copy of the bill for you here.

Padilla and his “legislative partners” from the California Initiative for Technology and Democracy (CITED) announced the bill as a way of “protecting” elections in the state – specifically from technology “misuse and misinformation.”

Although the legislative push is new, the rhetoric is at least eight years old now. Padilla spoke about foreigners hell-bent on using “new and powerful” tech to bring on misinformation – and that, rather than any internal political and ideological movements in the US, is why there are “divisions” in society (i.e. different viewpoints – also known as, democracy).

But to justify this same-old, in 2024, it’s all about them “deepfakes.”

“Bad actors and foreign bots now have the ability to create fake videos and images and spread lies to millions at the touch of a button,” Padilla shared with the press.

And now for what to do about it – according to Padilla: force large online platforms to require users to produce identity verification.

The labels attached to content by those platforms would thus be, “identity authenticated” and “identity unauthenticated.”

What it means is that, if passed, the bill would mandate that users with more than 25,000 followers, “or who are sharing more than 1,000 pieces of AI-generated content to verify their name, phone number, and email.”

Regarding those with over 100,000 followers, “or those sharing more than 5,000 pieces of AI-generated content” – the platform would be “required to seek verification of a user’s government-issued ID.”

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, subscribe to Reclaim The Net.

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