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After a deadly wave of mass shootings in the United States last year — including one in Buffalo, N.Y., and another at a school in Uvalde, Texas — that collectively killed 31, California’s Democratic-controlled Legislature responded by quickly passing more than a dozen laws meant to prevent gun violence in the Golden State.
Now, with California reeling from one mass shooting after another that claimed at least 24 lives in Monterey Park, Half Moon Bay and a Central Valley farming town, lawmakers are asking themselves once again what more they can do to stem the violence.
As an Arab Muslim woman teaching in California for the past decade, I have heard more hate and disinformation about my culture and faith than I care to remember.
Social media is where most disinformation starts. It spreads across California every day, ranging from conspiracy theories about climate change to rumors designed to undermine confidence in public health protections, or the hate speech that fueled the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi.
California lawmakers passed legislation designed to protect the privacy and well-being of minors on social media and shield them from predators and exploitative commercialization on internet platforms.
Legislators also approved a bill under which platforms including Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube and Google would be required to publicly disclose their policies on how they screen content, a requirement aimed at combating the spread of hate, racism, extremist violence and conspiracy theories online.