Ohio lawmakers push bill that would end censorship of conservative views on Facebook
Individuals could sue social media giants like Facebook and Twitter for allegedly discriminating against a particular viewpoint and collect damages if the charges are upheld, under proposed GOP Ohio legislation. .
The measure currently in the House Civil Justice Committee targets what backers say is the continued censorship of conservative viewpoints by social media companies, according to testimony from GOP officials sponsor Scott Wiggam of Wooster and of Rep. Al Cutrona of suburban Youngstown.
They argue that the bill will prevent big tech companies from engaging in point of view discrimination without violating the First Amendment right to free speech.
The measure drew criticism from some conservatives as well as free speech advocates such as the American Civil Liberties Union. Opponents of the bill say conservatives are actually well represented on social media. They also argue that a simpler solution to concerns about viewpoint discrimination is to use sites with an expressed conservative bent.
Forcing social media companies to accept all points of view could lead to the protected proliferation of harmful content, including pornography, extremist speech, foreign propaganda, conspiracy theories, as well as spam currently blocked by sites, say opponents of the bill.
Last year, federal judges in Florida and Texas blocked similar laws from going into effect.