CA Attorney General Warns about Dangers of Social Media in U.S. Politics 

By Jessica Weisman

OAKLAND, CA – Rob Bonta, California’s Attorney General, has released a statement declaring he is deeply concerned with the impact social media is having on politics in the U.S., and its misinformation and disinformation pose real threats to safe democracy—he appealed to the platforms this week to regulate just what is being posted.

Just how dangerous social media can be to the democratic process is seen in the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, an event the California Department of Justice Office of the Attorney General deemed as an “…unacceptable act of violence…” which “…is demonstrative of the growing threat to our elected officials and our democracy.”

Attorney General Bonta is urging social media sites to take real action against the spread of misinformation and disinformation online. “I urge social media companies to learn from past mistakes, and employ their immense resources to stop the dangerous spread of disinformation and misinformation on their platforms.”

It is becoming increasingly difficult for social media users “…to distinguish false from legitimate news…” This makes the circulation of fake news and conspiracies that much easier, the AG explained.

The Attorney General’s Office in the Department of Justice stated that this access to misinformation and disinformation creates “real dangers to real people, such as those that deter and disenfranchise voters with false election information, spread hoaxes and debunked conspiracy theories about voter fraud and election results, and foment insurrection and violence against elected officials.”

The Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capital will forever be a reminder of the harmful potential social media holds, noted Bonta.

In his letter to the CEOs of Meta, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, and Reddit, Attorney General Bonta begs them “to do more to rid their platforms of the dangerous disinformation, misinformation, conspiracy theories, and threats that fuel political violence, spread fear and distrust, and ultimately chill the democratic process.”

About The Author

Jessica is a third year at the University of California, Davis from Boise, Idaho. She is double-majoring in Political Science - Public Service and Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies. She has been on the cheer team for UC Davis for three years, and is set to graduate a year early in June 2023. After graduation, Jessica plans to attend law school in Boulder, Colorado after obtaining more work experience in her field.

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