NY Gov Hochul Unveils Plan to Teach Kids How to Tackle ‘Crisis’ of ‘Misinformation’ and ‘Hate Speech’

New York’s Democrat Governor Kathy Hochul has unveiled a “media literacy kit” that seeks to teach children how to “combat online hate” and “misinformation.”

Gov. Hochul argues that the “threat” of “hate speech” has become a “crisis” that is “putting all New Yorkers at risk.”

In announcing her new plan, Hochul warned of surges in “hate crimes” against Jews, Muslims, and Arabs amid the Israel-Hamas war.

“The rising tide of hate is putting all New Yorkers at risk – and as Governor, I’m committed to tackling this crisis head-on,” Hochul said, according to a press release issued last Tuesday.

“We’re deploying physical security resources, expanding our Threat Management and Assessment teams, calling for stronger action from social media companies, and encouraging families and communities to come together to fight hate.

“New York has always been a beacon of hope, tolerance, and inclusivity, and we will be defined by how we come together to condemn hate in all forms.”

The release said Hochul’s plan involves allocating $3 million to expand the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ Domestic Terrorism Prevention Unit’s Threat Assessment and Management to colleges and universities across New York State.

The governor is also instructing the agency to develop the “media literacy toolkit” for children.

The “toolkit” advises parents and schools can teach students in grades K-12 how to better “spot misinformation/disinformation/malinformation (‘MDM’) online.”

“This will teach students and even teachers to help understand how to spot conspiracy theories and misinformation, disinformation, and online hate,” she said.

“Start talking about what we’re seeing out there.

“Give the teachers the tools they need to help these conversations in school.

“By teaching younger New Yorkers about how to discern between digital fact and digital fiction, we can better inoculate them from hatred and the spread of it and help prepare them for a very fast-moving and often confusing world…”

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While announcing the initiatives, Hochul said the goal of social media anti-hate teams is to make the “digital world safer.”

She said the teams will be identifying “hate at the source” and “preventing crimes before they occur.”

“Let me be clear,” she continued.

“These teams are working to identify violent threats.

“They’re not looking at your Instagram sunset post or your tweets about your favorite football team and they’re not here to penalize anyone for their political views.

“They have a simple goal to find out what’s driving hateful behavior and intervene early before harm is done…”

The measure echoes those of other states aiming to crack down on “misinformation” circulating online.

A recent New Jersey law now requires media literacy to be taught to all grades to help students spot “disinformation.”

The law garnered criticism from parents and Garden State residents.

Critics include Fox News contributor Joe Concha, who warns that the government “should not be involved in what is misinformation and what is not.”

“It’s beyond subjective and will be weaponized for political power,” he added.

Meanwhile, USA Today reported last week that schools in California are now also required to teach media literacy to students to better enable them to spot “fake news.”

Hochul also penned a letter to CEOs of major social media outlets, including TikTok, X, and Meta.

The letter urges the Big Tech companies to take measures to “reduce the sickening hate being spread on their sites.”

The development came after TikTok disseminated an Osama Bin Laden letter justifying the 9/11 attacks, a move Hochul also condemned.

READ MORE: Registered Sex Offender Set Free in New York, Re-Arrested for Murder

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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