A bill will be introduced next week in Florida, aimed at allowing lawsuits to be filed against social media platforms for political censorship.
Breitbart reported that the legislation will be announced on Tuesday by Florida Senator and Republican leader Joe Gruters.
According to the bill posted on the website of the Florida State Senate, the goal is to make sure that “certain” social media platforms that have created a digital public square live up to the standards required by this turn of events, and allow Florida residents the right to political and religious free speech on the platforms. The bill specifically concerns these two types of speech.
Under the bill, if companies running social media sites whose influence is seen as having grown to that of a public square are found to have violated these rights, they will be ordered to pay at least $75,000 in damages.
The way the proposed legislation defines violations of the right to religious and political speech is if giant platforms delete or censor content that is protected as free speech, and also, if they automate the process by using algorithms in order to “disfavor or censure” such speech.
However, compensation could be lower if content previously removed has been restored within “a reasonable amount of time.”
Another point of the bill is to prevent the companies in question from using the notion of “hate speech” in court to justify their actions or defend themselves for removing content and censoring their users.
When Gruters goes before reporters on Tuesday to announce the bill he will be joined by Laura Loomer, who is running in the Republican primary in Florida that will elect the party's candidate for the US Congress. Having been banned by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, PayPal, Medium, and many other platforms, this activist and politician is a prominent example of what conservatives say is clear bias against them exercised by social media giants and Loomer's bannings from these platforms are a major catalyst for the bill.
Loomer is not the only politician, either, to be banned by the biggest social media network of them all, Facebook – as the company's actions seem to speak louder than its words that say freedom of expression is “an absolute founding principle for Facebook.”