Florida Introduces "Stop Social Media Censorship Act"

Megalith

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A senator in Florida is brewing potential legislation making censorship illegal on the biggest social media platforms: Senate Bill 1722, otherwise known as the “Stop Social Media Censorship Act,” would fine Facebook, Twitter, and other such services with a userbase of more than 75 million $75,000 for deleting content under the guise of hate speech or other “nebulous” reasons.

“Citing this act as the “Stop Social Media Censorship Act”; providing that the owner or operator of a social media website is subject to a private right of action by a social media website user in this state under certain conditions; prohibiting a social media website from using hate speech as a defense; authorizing the Attorney General to bring an action on behalf of a social media website user, etc.”
 

wootius

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Wouldn't a law like this be in violation of the rights of a private (read: non-government) entity to decide who they do and do not want to provide service to?

Given the size and ubiquity of its usage, I'd bet you could get public forum status for Facebook and Twitter.

And it's fine to say "offensive" things in a public forum.
 

MarkVI

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Wow, this sounds like an awful idea. These are private companies and they are entitled to regulate speech as they see fit on their platforms. Perfect example: all of the big platforms booted Alex Jones for spreading lies and hate speech. Should they be forced to take him back? Speech like that does real harm, just look at those poor Sandy Hook parents and the harassment they suffer from the Infowars crowd. The pizzagate shooter is another great example.

This would actually make executives like Zuckerberg less accountable. They could just say "Florida made me do it" every time there is a new controversy.

Whoever wrote this bill seems to not understand that the first amendment doesn't mean that you can say whatever you want consequence free, it just means that the government can't fine or imprison you for it.
 

Riptide_NVN

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^^ Seems like an idea worth exploring.

Wouldn't a law like this be in violation of the rights of a private (read: non-government) entity to decide who they do and do not want to provide service to?

I would think so, yes. The difficult position we're in now is that a few private companies are dominating such that it if they decide to pull (whatever) content then it ends up being extremely difficult to impossible for someone to locate and view it. While the government may not be forcing them to do this the end result is essentially the same.
 

Riouken

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Wow, this sounds like an awful idea. These are private companies and they are entitled to regulate speech as they see fit on their platforms. Perfect example: all of the big platforms booted Alex Jones for spreading lies and hate speech. Should they be forced to take him back? Speech like that does real harm, just look at those poor Sandy Hook parents and the harassment they suffer from the Infowars crowd. The pizzagate shooter is another great example.

This would actually make executives like Zuckerberg less accountable. They could just say "Florida made me do it" every time there is a new controversy.

Whoever wrote this bill seems to not understand that the first amendment doesn't mean that you can say whatever you want consequence free, it just means that the government can't fine or imprison you for it.

MarkVI's post is doing real harm to me, just look at the poor readers of [H] and the harassment of your post. Should all the readers have to suffer from your speech? Time to ban MarkVI....../S


This is the rabbit hole this goes down with your logic. If we keep going down this road we could soon be arresting and imprisoning dog owners and grandma's for jokes on facebook.
 

Patton187

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A senator in Florida is brewing potential legislation making censorship illegal on the biggest social media platforms: Senate Bill 1722, otherwise known as the “Stop Social Media Censorship Act,” would fine Facebook, Twitter, and other such services with a userbase of more than 75 million $75,000 for deleting content under the guise of hate speech or other “nebulous” reasons.

“Citing this act as the “Stop Social Media Censorship Act”; providing that the owner or operator of a social media website is subject to a private right of action by a social media website user in this state under certain conditions; prohibiting a social media website from using hate speech as a defense; authorizing the Attorney General to bring an action on behalf of a social media website user, etc.”
I'm with it.
 

GoodBoy

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Can't say I agree with this in the slightest...

Free speech doesn't mean ANY company has to give you a platform to say whateverthefuck you want.

Can you cuss on television? No. In fact, you get big fines.

Does my free speech rights mean I can say anything I want on TV? No.

Does my free speech mean I can Lie? Yes.

Does my free speech mean social media platforms have to let me lie on their platforms? No.

In fact, a law like this would undermine the value of social media, turning it into even more of a cesspool than it is.

Get a clue dumbass congressman... oh wait, this describes the majority of the cunts YOU all have elected.. yeah, the human race is fucked.
 

gamerk2

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MarkVI's post is doing real harm to me, just look at the poor readers of [H] and the harassment of your post. Should all the readers have to suffer from your speech? Time to ban MarkVI....../S


This is the rabbit hole this goes down with your logic. If we keep going down this road we could soon be arresting and imprisoning dog owners and grandma's for jokes on facebook.

The 1st Amendment rights, at the time they were enacted, applied only to the Federal government; free speech rights didn't even apply to the states until the 14th Amendment incorporated the Bill of Rights to apply to the states as well. In addition, there's no constitutional protections within the confines of a private setting, which Facebook, Google and the rest apply as. While they have no justification to push for criminal prosecution for violating their private rules, they are well within their constitutional rights to ban you or your speech from their private setting.

You can even make a constitutional argument for the opposite case; taking the "yelling FIRE in a theater" decision to it's logical conclusion, you can make a constitutional argument that speech that leads directly to harm is in fact not protected by the first amendment.
 

gamerk2

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I would think so, yes. The difficult position we're in now is that a few private companies are dominating such that it if they decide to pull (whatever) content then it ends up being extremely difficult to impossible for someone to locate and view it. While the government may not be forcing them to do this the end result is essentially the same.

"But bigger businesses are good for consumers!"

If this is a problem, Congress is free to address anti-trust legislation whenever they want.
 

mullet

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Hate Speech doesn't exist!

This is what the snow flake cry babies use to try and control what people say.

I was hoping this social media outrage/offended over everything was just a fad that would eventually blow over after a while but I guess not.

I wish I could gather up all the millennials and drop them off in the WWII era and watch them cry themselves to sleep every night. Good grief.
 

Flogger23m

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Wouldn't a law like this be in violation of the rights of a private (read: non-government) entity to decide who they do and do not want to provide service to?

This is a tricky question. These platforms have become so big and influential that their censorship is just as impactful as that of the government at this point. This is one of those times that the government may have to step in and protect the people from corporate interests.
 

Skyblue

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You can even make a constitutional argument for the opposite case; taking the "yelling FIRE in a theater" decision to it's logical conclusion, you can make a constitutional argument that speech that leads directly to harm is in fact not protected by the first amendment.

So any criticism of the nazis that could lead to a war against them, should be forbidden? Churchill would be rotating in his grave.
 

ZodaEX

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Hate Speech doesn't exist!

This is what the snow flake cry babies use to try and control what people say.

I was hoping this social media outrage/offended over everything was just a fad that would eventually blow over after a while but I guess not.

I wish I could gather up all the millennials and drop them off in the WWII era and watch them cry themselves to sleep every night. Good grief.


If you get pleasure out of watching other people cry then you are a sociopath.
 

dreadcthulhu

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The 1st Amendment rights, at the time they were enacted, applied only to the Federal government; free speech rights didn't even apply to the states until the 14th Amendment incorporated the Bill of Rights to apply to the states as well. In addition, there's no constitutional protections within the confines of a private setting, which Facebook, Google and the rest apply as. While they have no justification to push for criminal prosecution for violating their private rules, they are well within their constitutional rights to ban you or your speech from their private setting.

Actually, there has been a Supreme Court case that ruled the First Amendment applied to can be applied to private venues. In the case of Marsh vs Alabama(1946) a woman was distributing religious pamphlets in a company town, where the Gulf Shipbuilding owned everything, including the sidewalks. The company used trespassing laws to force her out of the town; she sued and eventually won -
The State attempted to analogize the town's rights to the rights of homeowners to regulate the conduct of guests in their home. The Court rejected that contention, noting that ownership "does not always mean absolute dominion." The court pointed out that the more an owner opens his property up to the public in general, the more his rights are circumscribed by the statutory and constitutional rights of those who are invited in.

Considering how widely the Social Media companies have opened up their property to the public, one could easily make a case that the constitutional rights of those visiting those sites should be applied.
 

Skyblue

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This is a tricky question. These platforms have become so big and influential that their censorship is just as impactful as that of the government at this point. This is one of those times that the government may have to step in and protect the people from corporate interests.

In Denmark, almost all political debate, is through facebook and twitter. Facebook actively censors political views they don't like. Point in case, my friend got his post deleted because it said he thought that the islamic veil was the result of a tyrannical patriarchy. You may or may not agree with this, but should facebook disallow the discussion? It certainly isn't illegal to say. I understand that in Denmark they will introduce legislation to make it illegal for foreign powers to meddle in the danish political debate. When that happens, Facebook will be the first against the wall.

On a larger note: Do we really want google to filter the search results according to their political views? Facebook to stymie all discussion that they dont approve? Twitter and so on? They make 1984 look like a paradise.

I support this Florida initiative completely.
 

Riouken

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The 1st Amendment rights, at the time they were enacted, applied only to the Federal government; free speech rights didn't even apply to the states until the 14th Amendment incorporated the Bill of Rights to apply to the states as well. In addition, there's no constitutional protections within the confines of a private setting, which Facebook, Google and the rest apply as. While they have no justification to push for criminal prosecution for violating their private rules, they are well within their constitutional rights to ban you or your speech from their private setting.

You can even make a constitutional argument for the opposite case; taking the "yelling FIRE in a theater" decision to it's logical conclusion, you can make a constitutional argument that speech that leads directly to harm is in fact not protected by the first amendment.

I agree with most of what you said in this post.

But were not talking about the government violating our 1st amendment rights. We are talking about censorship from private company's. Company's shouldn't be able to solicit your content(Make Money off it), then have immunity from it and then be able to censor it.
 

fs123

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Hate Speech doesn't exist!

This is what the snow flake cry babies use to try and control what people say.

I was hoping this social media outrage/offended over everything was just a fad that would eventually blow over after a while but I guess not.

I wish I could gather up all the millennials and drop them off in the WWII era and watch them cry themselves to sleep every night. Good grief.

I suspect this new proposal is to allow the far right to spread the NZ massacre video and other such material. If that is the case then no one should have a problem when someone shares the numerous ISIS beheading videos too. I bet they will move straight to ban them though.
 

Riptide_NVN

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If this is a problem, Congress is free to address anti-trust legislation whenever they want.
May happen some day. Not quite yet though.
If you get pleasure out of watching other people cry then you are a sociopath.
I agree that taking pleasure in the suffering of others is not nice. I agree with him, that hate crimes are a bogus notion.
 

Skyblue

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I suspect this new proposal is to allow the far right to spread the NZ massacre video and other such material. If that is the case then no one should have a problem when someone shares the numerous ISIS beheading videos too. I bet they will move straight to ban them though.
So only leftleaning types should be allowed to share it?
 

maxius

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Can't say I agree with this in the slightest...

Free speech doesn't mean ANY company has to give you a platform to say whateverthefuck you want.

Can you cuss on television? No. In fact, you get big fines.

Does my free speech rights mean I can say anything I want on TV? No.

Does my free speech mean I can Lie? Yes.

Does my free speech mean social media platforms have to let me lie on their platforms? No.

In fact, a law like this would undermine the value of social media, turning it into even more of a cesspool than it is.

Get a clue dumbass congressman... oh wait, this describes the majority of the cunts YOU all have elected.. yeah, the human race is fucked.


/THREAD
 

fs123

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So only leftleaning types should be allowed to share it?

Are you feeling ok? The current legislation allows for censorship/removal of such videos so why would the left or right be allowed? Some level of intelligence required to understand the simple concept I guess.
 

mullet

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May happen some day. Not quite yet though.

I agree that taking pleasure in the suffering of others is not nice. I agree with him, that hate crimes are a bogus notion.


Ok be honest if you took a millennial bowling and he dropped a bowling ball on his foot and started to cry, you mean to tell me you wouldn't even smirk?
 
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Riptide_NVN

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So only leftleaning types should be allowed to share it?
Of course! Liberals are right about everything all of the time. Everything from a conservative is wrong, 100% of the time. Therefore, the ones who are always right should naturally be the only ones heard since they are of course the source of truth.

Haven't you been paying attention? I learned this on Facebook. :p
Ok be honest if you took a millennial bowling and he dropped a bowling ball on his foot and started to cry, you mean to tell me you wouldn't even smirk?
Not really, but I wouldn't call you a psychopath if you did.
 

Dekoth-E-

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This is no longer a simple issue and is honestly massively complex now. You cannot simply take a stand of "free speech" or "Private businesses are allowed to run their platform as they deem fit". Back before social media run by private companies was the overwhelmingly dominate form of communication for the masses, it was a very simple issue of Free speech is something that only the government needs to be held too and private businesses should be allowed to moderate their platforms as they deem fit. I agreed with this fully, it was a clear cut issue. However we are now at a point where social media sites like Facebook, twitter, youtube and reddit are such a pervasive part of how everyone consumes content and how everyone formulates opinions, it is far more complicated. The big problem comes from the fact that all the major platforms right now have proven to be heavily left leaning and not just "A little" left, but extreme left. As such anything right wing is under heavy attack and heavy censorship or even non right wing but simply disagrees with the narrative. Now I say this as someone who considers them self fairly moderate with a definite tendency to lean left on many things. If you are going to allow the extreme of one side voice their opinions no matter how batshit crazy it is, then you MUST give the other side an equal chance. I am extremely disenchanted with how things currently are on these platforms as they are being extremely heavy handed on certain topics and at this point they are simply too large and too intertwined with how every single person gets their information to continue claiming they are immune to free speech.
 

Tsumi

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The 1st Amendment rights, at the time they were enacted, applied only to the Federal government; free speech rights didn't even apply to the states until the 14th Amendment incorporated the Bill of Rights to apply to the states as well. In addition, there's no constitutional protections within the confines of a private setting, which Facebook, Google and the rest apply as. While they have no justification to push for criminal prosecution for violating their private rules, they are well within their constitutional rights to ban you or your speech from their private setting.

You can even make a constitutional argument for the opposite case; taking the "yelling FIRE in a theater" decision to it's logical conclusion, you can make a constitutional argument that speech that leads directly to harm is in fact not protected by the first amendment.

You are able to prosecute someone for intent to commit a crime, or aid and abet in a crime, and of course the speech they use can be used to prove intent. Allow them to make all that speech on the internet, it'll be much easier to prove intent because it's all recorded.
 

Pieter3dnow

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And you would have thought (not to long ago) that there were some other pressing matters in Florida that needed a bill.
The idea that you can steer away from your responsibilities as a government to up hold some common decency and disguise your argument as censorship of any kind is the first red flag in the way you should see this bill.

I think that the FCC had something with internet freedom that was not exactly covering the load .....

Why is it that politicians have to deliberately have to fool people with a title that does not cover what is in it.
 

TonyZ

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If something like this passes, no site just like this one can limit speech in any way, get ready...
 

MarkVI

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MarkVI's post is doing real harm to me, just look at the poor readers of [H] and the harassment of your post. Should all the readers have to suffer from your speech? Time to ban MarkVI....../S


This is the rabbit hole this goes down with your logic. If we keep going down this road we could soon be arresting and imprisoning dog owners and grandma's for jokes on facebook.

I can't decide if your reply is a straw man or a non-sequitur. What about my statement was analogous to someone inciting harassment or violence through the spread of lies?

Back on topic, if Kyle Bennett wants to ban me for any or no reason he can and there isn't anything I can do about it. I have no constitutionally protected right to use his platform. Alex Jones, likewise, has no constitutional right to use Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, or any other service. They can and did ban him for violating their terms of service. They can police their sites as they see fit.
 

Flogger23m

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In Denmark, almost all political debate, is through facebook and twitter. Facebook actively censors political views they don't like. Point in case, my friend got his post deleted because it said he thought that the islamic veil was the result of a tyrannical patriarchy. You may or may not agree with this, but should facebook disallow the discussion? It certainly isn't illegal to say. I understand that in Denmark they will introduce legislation to make it illegal for foreign powers to meddle in the danish political debate. When that happens, Facebook will be the first against the wall.

On a larger note: Do we really want google to filter the search results according to their political views? Facebook to stymie all discussion that they dont approve? Twitter and so on? They make 1984 look like a paradise.

I support this Florida initiative completely.

Agreed. At one point in time "google it" was a good way to find information. Now it is carefully curated as to what kind of information they'd like you to find.
 

Tekara

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I see no problem with mandating 1st amendment protection on public use social media.

The original decision that supported protection of free speech on private property intended for public use was made with Marsh v. Alabama

Over time, this ruling has been eroded away to the point that free speech is more of an idea than a right.

A quote I like from the dissenting opinion of one such case against 1st amendment, Lloyd Corp. v. Tanner:

Justice Thurgood Marshall said:
Only the wealthy may find effective communication possible unless we adhere to Marsh v. Alabama…
 
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gamerk2

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I agree with most of what you said in this post.

But were not talking about the government violating our 1st amendment rights. We are talking about censorship from private company's. Company's shouldn't be able to solicit your content(Make Money off it), then have immunity from it and then be able to censor it.

But Constitutionally, that's exactly what they can do. Individual rights go out the window in a private environment.
 

gamerk2

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Actually, there has been a Supreme Court case that ruled the First Amendment applied to can be applied to private venues. In the case of Marsh vs Alabama(1946) a woman was distributing religious pamphlets in a company town, where the Gulf Shipbuilding owned everything, including the sidewalks. The company used trespassing laws to force her out of the town; she sued and eventually won -

Considering how widely the Social Media companies have opened up their property to the public, one could easily make a case that the constitutional rights of those visiting those sites should be applied.

Looking at the decision, the court basically said "yeah, even though company owns everything, it's still a public environment and thus Constitutional protections applied".

Remember the Internet is nothing except a group of private networks that have collectively decided to allow open access between them. Each individual private network is free to manage it's membership as it sees fit.
 

Tsumi

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I can't decide if your reply is a straw man or a non-sequitur. What about my statement was analogous to someone inciting harassment or violence through the spread of lies?

Back on topic, if Kyle Bennett wants to ban me for any or no reason he can and there isn't anything I can do about it. I have no constitutionally protected right to use his platform. Alex Jones, likewise, has no constitutional right to use Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, or any other service. They can and did ban him for violating their terms of service. They can police their sites as they see fit.

The problem is that Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube have become so prevalent in how we obtain our information that they literally influence public opinion; they've essentially become national (and international) public forums controlled by private entities at this point. Nothing provided by public entities come close. Being able to control these forums literally give these companies massive influence on what the public thinks and believes.

But Constitutionally, that's exactly what they can do. Individual rights go out the window in a private environment.

That's why laws exist and can change and evolve with time. At one point it was constitutionally acceptable to own slaves.
 
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