Arkansas lawmakers discussing social media censorship

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. –  Social media is now a part of daily living for many. 

Whether it’s news updates, funny videos, or hot takes on any subject matter most people are signed up one of several social media sites. 

A new bill looks to keep Arkansans free speech intact and keep them out of “Facebook jail”.

State Senator Ricky Hill a supporter of the bill said this came about after many came to Arkansas lawmakers asking for protection from Big Tech companies.

“It was brought to us by the citizens of Arkansas, constituents throughout, they saw what’s happened in the past that Big Tech comes forward and says ‘We don’t like what you’re saying, so we’re going to block you.’” said State Senator Ricky Hill.

The bill proposed would prevent social media sites from censoring accounts in bad faith. 

People can report the companies to the AG’s office and they would investigate to see if the account violated any of the terms of use at the time a post was made to be sure the companies are applying their rules in good faith.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge introduced the bill stating that she hopes it can take aim at big social media companies. “The company would need to show under those current terms of service and the agreement that they were acting in good faith when they blocked that account temporarily,” Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said. 

The penalty for social media companies is up to $10,000 for each instance of censoring.

Sen. Hill said he wants to make sure all speech is protected under this bill, not just one side or the other of certain issues, “This is a bill for everyone, it covers both sides of the aisle for freedom of speech,” Hill Said

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