Bill Summary for S 880 (2023-2024)

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Summary date: 

May 3 2024

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2023-2024 Session
Senate Bill 880 (Public) Filed Thursday, May 2, 2024
Intro. by Salvador, Robinson, Meyer.

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Bill summary

Enacts new Article 26, Deceptive and Fraudulent Deepfakes in Election Communication, in GS Chapter 163, providing as follows.

Prohibits a person, corporation, committee, or other entity from, within 90 days of an election at which a candidate for elective office will appear on the ballot, distributing a synthetic media message that they know or should have known is a deceptive and fraudulent deepfake of a candidate or political party on the State or local ballot. Defines deceptive and fraudulent deepfake as any synthetic media (as defined) that depicts a candidate or political party with the intent to injure the reputation of the candidate or party or otherwise deceive a voter that: (1) appears to a reasonable person to depict a real individual saying or doing something that did not actually occur in reality or (2) provides a reasonable person a fundamentally different understanding or impression of the appearance, action, or speech than a reasonable person would have from an unaltered, original version of the image, audio recording, or video recording. Provides that the prohibition does not apply if the audio or visual medial includes a disclosure that meets the stated requirements.

Allows aggrieved candidates to seek injunctive or other equitable relief prohibiting the publication of the deceptive and fraudulent deepfake. Allows a person to be held liable by the State Board of Elections for civil penalties for violations; sets out the applicable fines. Sets out exclusions for radio and television stations: (1) that broadcast a prohibited deepfake as part of a bona fide newscast, news interview, news documentary, or on the spot coverage of bona fide news events, if the broadcast clearly acknowledges that there are questions about the authenticity of the materially deceptive audio or visual media or (2) when they are paid to broadcast a deepfake and have made a good-faith effort to establish the depiction is not a deceptive and fraudulent deepfake. Excludes a website, or a regularly published newspaper, magazine, or other periodical of general circulation that routinely carries news and commentary of general interest, and that publishes prohibited materially deceptive audio or visual media, if the publication clearly states that the materially deceptive audio or visual media does not accurately represent the speech or conduct of the candidate. Excludes satire or parody.

Includes a severability clause. Requires the proceeds of civil penalties to be remitted to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund.

Effective July 1, 2024, appropriates $100,000 for 2024-25 from the General Fund to the State Board of Elections to enforce this act.