The Georgia Senate passed a bill that would make it unlawful for online platforms to censor Georgians based on their views alone. The states of Florida and Texas have passed similar bills that were challenged for First Amendment violations.
Georgia’s Senate has passed bill SB 393. It will empower Georgians to sue platforms if they feel they have been unfairly discriminated against or censored.
We obtained a copy of the bill for you here.
State Sen. Greg Dolezal, who sponsored the bill, said, “What we are stating here is that you cannot be discriminated against for your viewpoint, for your gender, for your age … in this 21st-century public square.”
“Georgia is about to be the first state in the nation to empower users of social media platforms. By passing SB 393, we are ensuring Georgians are not unfairly targeted for their personal ideologies,” Georgia’s Senate majority leader Mike Dugan wrote in a tweet earlier this month.
What separates Georgia’s Common Carrier Non-Discrimination Act from similar bills is that it demands transparency reports from social media platforms. The bill would require companies to report how many times they censored content, the prevalence of illegal content, and other metrics every six months.
Florida and Texas have passed similar bills. However, both have been halted by federal courts for infringing on the First Amendment rights of social media companies. Judges have agreed that companies have a constitutional right not to be compelled to carry speech.
Georgia’s House will vote on the bill soon, with Gov. Brain Kemp expected to sign it.