The Georgia state Senate voted 33-21 on Tuesday to pass a bill seeking to ban the removal or censorship of content on social media platforms amid a cry from conservatives that their political views are being discriminated against, even though a similar law has been introduced in Texas. Held by a federal court.
Senate Bill 393 has gone to the House for further debate. It declares that social media companies, which have more than 20 million users in the United States, are common carriers and cannot block people from receiving certain messages based on their views, location, race, ethnicity, religion, political beliefs, gender, or sexual orientation. Adaptation or disability.
“What we’re saying here is that in this 21st century public square, you can’t be discriminated against because of your point of view, your gender, your age, or anything else,” said Sen. Greg Dolezal, a Cumming Republican who is sponsoring the bill. Dolejal said companies can still download pornographic, obscene or offensive content.
State Senate Republicans have declared this year’s measure a priority. The move comes after Donald Trump was banned on the last day of his presidency, claiming the Conservatives were being treated unfairly.
But the technology industry says the measure is illegal because it would unconstitutionally give private companies a speech they disagree with. They further argue that private owners should be able to do as they please with their own property.
Senator Jane Jordan, a Sandy Springs Democrat, said she “does not care if social media companies go out of control,” but said the Republican proposal would be scrapped and Congress would have to act instead.
“I think it’s unconstitutional and I think it’s predetermined by federal law,” Jordan said. “From a very serious point of view, this needs to be addressed at the federal level.”
Dolezal acknowledged that passing the law would result in lawsuits against the state, but argued that the U.S. Supreme Court could hear a challenge breaking new and desirable grounds.
Researchers have not found widespread evidence that social media companies are biased against conservative news, posts or content.
In a 2021 report, New York University’s Stern Center for Business and Human Rights called the allegations a political hoax spread by Republicans.
Whether lawmakers and judges think of Facebook as a telephone company that must serve all users who pay their bills, or what a print publisher might say and ignore other aspects of the broad guidelines.
The bill states that social media companies must disclose how it controls content, targets specific users, and how it accesses or hides specific content. It also said that social media companies should publish a report every six months on how many times they were warned about potentially illegal content and how many times they removed or reduced content and suspended or removed users.
Anyone who thinks a company is following the law can file a civil lawsuit in a Georgia court with a class arrangement.