West Virginia Republican lawmakers have introduced a bill that would prohibit any news outlet from publishing any material that contains information that is false or misleading about West Virginia.
The legislation was introduced on Thursday by state Representative Dan Latham, a Republican, who has also introduced bills to limit libel suits and block online privacy.
The proposed bill, introduced by the state’s Democratic House leader, David Jones, would prohibit the state from issuing an “adverse news statement” or “false and misleading statement,” the Associated Press reports.
The bill is aimed at protecting consumers, according to the AP.
The West Virginia House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the legislation in the coming weeks.
The AP reports the legislation would “protect West Virginians from the damage caused by ‘fake’ news,” which includes information that’s “false or misleading” about the state.
“West Virginia is a great place to be,” Latham told the AP, referring to West Virginia as the “home of West Virginia.”
“The only thing that we can do as legislators is to protect our people, to protect their families, to ensure they’re not harmed by false and misleading information.
We need to ensure that we are not allowing the spread of false and dangerous information.”