California Bill to Force Facebook and Twitter to Identify Online Bots

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Photo by Shawn Campbell from Flickr

Twitter and Facebook are much aware that actors that are backed by Russia have been making use of troll accounts to manipulate discourse online. Despite the introduction of tools for transparency and purging various lists of bots, lawmakers in California do not believe that the companies are imposing adequate measures to safeguard the consumers. Legislators introduced a bill that would force the social media platforms to identify the automated accounts and deal with the said accounts within three days.

The bill would make it illegal for users to make use of an automated account that is aimed to mislead the denizens of California or interact with them without a disclosure that they are a bot. If one account is reported, the social platform will be required to deal with the auto-account within 72 hours. The companies would then be required to submit a bimonthly report to the Attorney General of the state detailing the bot activity and the corrective actions that were taken.

According to Bloomberg, the legislation is slated to run through a pair of committees in California later this month. The proposal follows a bill that was introduced by Marc Levine, a state assemblymember, last January that aggressively sought to require the bots on social platforms to be linked to human accounts.