2021 House Bill 4813

Mandate certain “fact checkers” register with state; authorize lawsuits

Introduced in the House

May 11, 2021

Introduced by Rep. Matt Maddock (R-44)

To require paid “fact checkers” as defined in the bill, and who publish material physically or digitally in Michigan, to register with the Secretary of State and obtain a “fidelity” bond of $1 million, with violations subject to fines of $1,000 per day. The bill would authorize undefined “affected parties” to bring a lawsuit in any district court to claim the against the bond for “any wrongful conduct that is a violation of the laws of this state.” If an affected party prevails the court would be required to order triple damages plus attorney fees. The definition of fact checker includes being affiliated with an organization or network that holds itself out as a fact-checker, and is a member of an International Fact Check Network, said to be a left-of-center organization.

Referred to the Committee on Regulatory Reform