A group of House Democrats introduced a bill aimed at combating disinformation online and preventing foreign election interference.
The Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy Act was introduced by Reps. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., Chrissy Houlahan, D-Penn., Xochitl Torres-Small, D-N.M., Mikie Sherril, D-N.J., and Lauren Underwood, D-Ill., following the release of a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report.
The report detailed state-sponsored disinformation campaigns by Russia to influence the U.S. political process.
The Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy Act would develop a grant program through the Department of Education aimed at local educational agencies. The grant program would:
- Support K-12 media literacy;
- Incorporate media literacy into existing curriculum;
- Establish new curriculum;
- Hire media literacy educators; and
- Promote educator professional development.
“An important part of safeguarding our country against foreign influence is making sure individual citizens have the tools to spot that disinformation,” Rep. Slotkin said in a press release. “In this new age of digital information warfare, education is critical – and I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing a bill to help encourage media literacy education.”
Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., introduced a similar bill to the Senate on July 23, which has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.