Ohio lawmaker targets social media in censorship bill

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CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – State Representative Al Cutrona will soon be introducing a bill that could prevent social media platforms from censorship online.

Cutrona and Rep. Scott Wiggins, sponsors of the bill, feel big tech companies should be regulated.

“Big tech is gonna be your Facebook, your Twitter, your Instagram, your Google, really these big tech businesses,” Cutrona said.

Cutrona states that social media companies should be treated as common carriers and that this bill would do that.

“By creating a common carrier for them, they can be regulated. And this is no bigger than when you think about the Vanderbilts, the railroad system, the Carnagies of the world in the 1920s,” Cutrona said.

He also wants to make it clear that the bill would not interfere with current state and federal laws.

When asked if a lack of censorship could interfere with the promotion of false information or damaging social media posts, Cutrona said, “This day and age, you know, going on social media is the new street corner, it’s a way to advocate and talk and people may not agree on one side or the other, so the question then becomes, who’s censoring who?”

If passed, these are some things that would be implemented:

  • Social media platforms are prohibited from censoring a user of the platform based upon the ideas they express, unless those statements violate state or federal law
  • If a social media platform does remove content, the platform must notify the user that the content was removed and what the reason for removal was. The platform must then provide an opportunity for the individuals to appeal the decision
  • Social media platforms are required to publicly disclose accurate information in regards to their content management, data management and business practices, including how it curates and targets content to its users, moderates content, and what algorithms or procedures are used to determine what appears when you search on the platform
  • If a social media platform censors a user and violates the provisions of the bill then the user can file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office. Attorney General can bring civil action against the platform to receive injunction action and recover reasonable attorney’s fees and investigative costs
  • The censored individual can sue the social media platform to receive declaratory and injunctive relief
  • If the social media platform refuses to comply with the orders from the court they can be held in contempt of court.

Right now, the bill has been sent out for co-sponsors, then it will be introduced on a state level

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