Sen. Hutchinson Supports Bill Ensuring Social Media Freedom of Speech

Senator Scott Hutchinson (R-21) is joining with Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33) to craft legislation that would require social media platforms address the arbitrary and inconsistent standards they use to bar or restrict free speech on their sites.

The Senators today (February 8) circulated a co-sponsorship memo seeking support from their colleagues for a bill that would mandate that social media companies inform their users – in writing – why their accounts were banned or disabled within 30 days and require those companies to offer users a recourse to restore their account.

“Our hope is that this measure will hold social media companies accountable to the standard and spirit of free speech that our society depends on,” the senators wrote in their co-sponsorship memo.

Senator Hutchinson said the bill is intended to bring clarity and openness to the issue and address concerns he has heard from citizens.

“We want to ensure that there is a level playing field and uniform standards for posts for all users,” said Senator Hutchinson. “We have heard concerns from constituents who have been blocked without any explanation or rationale as to why their posts were censored or their accounts were suspended. These inconsistent and seemingly arbitrary decisions by ‘fact-checkers’ are leading to serious concerns as to whether these social media platforms are truly interested in promoting free speech and the open exchange of ideas and opinions or simply in advancing specific ideologies.”

Officials in other states, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, are considering legislation addressing censorship by social media platforms.

Contact:          Justin Leventry           jleventry@pasen.gov