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.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.