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Two California Democratic lawmakers took separate aim Tuesday at pandemic disinformation they argue receives a broad audience and misplaced credibility through social media platforms – rejecting concerns that their legislation might carry free speech or business privacy considerations.

Assemblyman Evan Low said his bill would label doctors’ promoting of misinformation or disinformation about COVID-19 to the public as unprofessional conduct that could draw disciplinary action from the California Medical Board. Disinformation is generally considered to be intentional or deliberate falsehoods, while misinformation can be inadvertent.

The California Medical Association hasn’t taken a position on Low’s bill. But the association’s president, Dr. Robert E. Wailes, said in a statement that misinformation has prolonged the pandemic, “making the work of our frontline health care workers more difficult and dangerous while harming community health.”

The legislation differs from efforts in some other states like Florida and Tennessee, where Republican lawmakers have resisted doctor discipline proposals.

Tennessee’s Board of Medical Examiners unanimously adopted in September a statement that said doctors spreading Covid misinformation – such as suggesting that vaccines contain microchips – could jeopardize their license to practice.

But before any physicians could be reprimanded for spreading falsehoods about covid-19 vaccines or treatments, Republican lawmakers threatened to disband the medical board.

The growing tension in Tennessee between conservative lawmakers and the state’s medical board may be the most prominent example in the country. But the Federation of State Medical Boards, which created language adopted by at least 15 state boards, is tracking legislation introduced by Republicans in at least 14 states that would restrict a medical board’s authority to discipline doctors for their advice on Covid.

In Florida, a Republican-sponsored bill making its way through the state legislature proposes to ban medical boards from revoking or threatening to revoke doctors’ licenses for what they say unless “direct physical harm” of a patient occurred. If the publicized complaint can’t be proved, the board could owe a doctor up to $1.5 million in damages.

Some medical boards have opted against taking a public stand against misinformation. The Alabama Board of Medical Examiners discussed signing on to the federation’s statement, according to the minutes from an October meeting. But after debating the potential legal ramifications in a private executive session, the board opted not to act.

A few physician groups are resisting attempts to root out misinformation, including the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, known for its stands against government regulation.

And Sen. Richard Pan’s proposal, which still is being finalized, would require online platforms like Facebook to publicly disclose how their algorithms work and how they promote user content, including which data sets are used and how they rank the prominence of user posts.  The platforms would also be required to confidentially share more detailed information with researchers, with the goal of creating more responsible algorithms.

Congress is considering a Platform Transparency and Accountability Act with a similar goal at the federal level, Pan said, but he wants California to take the lead.