A new bill has been introduced in the Idaho Legislature aimed at “wrongful social media censorship.”
House Bill 323 was introduced yesterday morning by Rep. Tammy Nichols (R-Middleton) in the House State Affairs Committee.
Rep. John Vander Woude (R-Nampa) and Rep. Vito Barbieri (R-Dalton Gardens) are also listed as sponsors of the bill.
The bill’s official Statement of Purpose is as follows:
This legislation protects against wrongful censorship by social media websites; providing definitions; providing that the owner or operator of a social media website is subject to a private right of action by certain social media users in this state under certain conditions; providing for damages; authorizing the award of reasonable attorney fees and costs; providing exceptions for the deletion or censorship of certain types of speech.
Nichols, one of the bill sponsors, provided the following statement to Idaho Dispatch about his bill.
Big tech censorship has become a huge concern for people all over the world, but especially here in the US. Unfortunately, at this current time, the federal government will not be taking up this issue, even as it continues to get worse.
A state law solution in the form of the “Stop Social Media Censorship Act” causes deceptive trade practice law to catch up to modern day technology. This is the best solution to the ongoing problem of social media censorship, because once enacted the statue would fall squarely within the state law exemption that is already built into section 230 of the communications decency act.
This legislation if inacted would also allow for damages to be pursued and awarded by a court of law. It is important to include damages in this bill to help send a message to these companies that censorship and other deceptive practices will not be tolerated.
HB 323 made it out of the House State Affairs Committee on a voice vote.
A public hearing has not yet been scheduled for the bill.
What do you think of social media censorship? Should there be more of it, less of it, or is the current amount of censorship enough?
Tags: Censorship, HB 323, John Vander Woude, Social Media, Tammy Nichols, Vito Barbieri