News site Salon changes 2021 headline claiming Florida law required students to register their political affiliations

Liberal news site Salon changed a 2021 headline this week that falsely claimed a Florida bill signed by Governor Ron DeSantis required college students and professors to officially register their political affiliations with the state.

The original headline, first published on June 23 last year, reads, “DeSantis signs bill requiring Florida students, professors to register political views with state.” The article resurfaced and gained attention in recent weeks as rumors of a DeSantis presidential run in 2024 continued to gain steam, alarming liberal voters who widely view DeSantis as the likely GOP nominee if Trump does not run again.

As the claim was repeated multiple times this week by commentators, Salon responded by updating the headline over a year after its original publication.

The new headline reflects the actual contents of the Florida law signed by DeSantis last year that requires Florida colleges and universities to conduct annual surveys regarding political beliefs of their student bodies. The updated headline reads, “DeSantis signs bill requiring survey of Florida students, professors on their political views.”

A Salon executive said in an email to CNN that the publication had considered changing the headline in 2021 but a previous editor had decided to keep the wording the same.

Executive editor Andrew O’Hehir said Salon reviewed the headline this week and decided to amend it because the original headline “conveyed a misleading impression of what the Florida law actually said, and did not live up to our editorial standards.”

DeSantis spokesperson Christina Pushaw said in a statement this week that the governor’s office asked Salon to change the headline in 2021. “It’s good to see that Salon finally changed its false headline after the pushback they received yesterday. It should have happened much sooner. Better yet, the Salon reporter and editors should have read the legislation before writing an article about it (a good practice for journalism, in general!).”




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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