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Assemblymember Wants Teens To Learn How To Spot Fake News

SACRAMENTO ( — A California lawmaker is taking steps he hopes will combat fake news.

Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez introduced Assembly Bill (AB) 155 Wednesday to help high schools teach students to tell real news from fake.

The Los Angeles Democrat said students should learn reasoning skills to assess what they read online. AB155 would commission new curriculum standards that include strategies for identifying false stories.

The bill would direct the Instructional Quality Commission to create and adopt curriculum standards and frameworks that incorporate civic online reasoning, for English language arts, math, history, social science and science.

The problem of false reports masquerading as news emerged as a major issue of the 2016 election. Many such reports were shared widely on social media during the campaign.

Gomez cited a recent study by Stanford's Graduate School of Education that showed the inability to distinguish fake news from real news is particularly pronounced among young people.

"Recently, we have seen the corrupting effects of a deliberate propaganda campaign driven by fake news. When fake news is repeated, it becomes difficult for the public to discern what's real. These attempts to mislead readers pose a direct threat to our democracy," Gomez said.

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