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Michigan Republican offers bill to fine fact-checkers for errors

Michigan Republican offers bill to fine fact-checkers for errors
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A law to register and fine fact checkers for mistakes was introduced Tuesday by Michigan state Rep. Matt Maddock (R), The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Maddock and his wife, Michigan Republican Party co-Chair Meshawn Maddock, have been called out by fact-checkers for their claims that the Jan. 6 Capitol riot was staged and for conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election.

If the bill is made law, fact-checkers will have to register with Michigan’s secretary of state with proof they hold “a fidelity bond in the amount of no less than $1,000,000.00,” the bill states.

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The Fact Checker Registration Act defines fact-checkers as people or organizations who are paid to fact-check, are members of the International Fact Check Network, publish physically or digitally in Michigan and call themselves fact-checkers.

The International Fact Check Network is an initiative of The Poynter Institute.

“Social media companies deplatform people, politicians, and businesses on the basis of 'fact checkers' who relish their roles punishing those whom they deem 'false,'” Matt Maddock wrote in a Facebook post about the law.

“My legislation will put fact checkers on notice: Don't be wrong, don't be sloppy, and you better be right,” he added.

Both Maddock and his wife addressed pro-Trump protesters in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6 prior to the riot at the Capitol.

In a statement the next day, the Detroit News reported, Meshawn Maddock condemned “the violence and breaching of the Capitol in the strongest possible terms.”

Last November, Matt Maddock was part of an effort to impeach Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D).