ATLANTA— First Amendment Policy Advocate Sarah Hunt-Blackwell will testify before the Georgia Legislature’s Senate Committee on Judiciary on Monday, January 29, 2024 at 4 p.m. in opposition to Senate Bill 392. The bill restricts social media users from uploading deceptive “deep fake” content about candidates up to 90 days before an election. It creates a new criminal offense of election interference with a deep fake, a felony punishable by one to five years imprisonment and up to $50,000 fine.
The ACLU of Georgia opposes SB 392 due to its inexact language and intent, as well as First Amendment issues around censorship where speech or expression is stopped before it occurs.
“ACLU of Georgia shares the committee’s concerns about disinformation and election interference, and First Amendment protections should be factored into state regulations on this matter,” said Hunt-Blackwell. “Navigating this delicate balance is critical. We’ve seen legislation similar to SB 392 in other states, most notably Minnesota and California. Those states addressed the same election interference concerns and drafted the bills to include necessary First Amendment carve outs and avoid over criminalization.”