Harrisburg- Today, Senator Doug Mastriano announced that he will soon introduce a historic bill to protect the free speech of Pennsylvanians from undue restriction and censorship on large social media platforms.
The legislation will create a private right of action that will allow users in Pennsylvania to bring legal action against a large social media platform if the platform purposely deletes or censors the user’s political speech and/or uses an algorithm to shadow ban. A censored user who sues would be able to seek statutory damages, attorneys’ fees, costs, and other forms of relief.
The legislation will also require a large social media platform to inform a user in writing why the user’s account has been banned or disabled within 30 days of the action and offer the user recourse to restore the user’s account. Additionally, large social media platforms will be required to publish and consistently apply standards for user censoring, shadow-banning, and de-platforming.
“Freedom of speech is enshrined in the first amendment and does not end when one enters the digital public sphere of a large social media platform,” said Mastriano. “The recently released Twitter files have revealed what many of us had already known. Big Tech oligarchs in Silicon Valley are subjectively banning and censoring what they deem to be “misinformation”. My bill will hold these social media platforms accountable and ensure that all social media users in Pennsylvania are treated fairly, regardless of their political beliefs. Free speech must be defended regardless of whether we agree with that speech or not.”
Contact: Josh Herman