New Michigan Bill Would Limit Social Media’s Power of Censorship
A new bill being considered by Michigan's legislature would limit the authority social media sites have over what is posted by users.
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House Bill No. 5973
House Bill No. 5973 is dubbed the 'social media censorship prevention act.' Essentially, the bill would take away social media companies' ability to 'de-platform' or remove users from their platforms if their beliefs and postings contradict certain social standards.
Rep. Ryan Berman is a Republican from Commerce Township and one of the bill's sponsors. He tells Up North Live that he "wants to empower Michiganders to the right to free speech as they face large companies."
“I may not agree with what you have to say but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it, that Voltairian principle. That’s what I subscribe to, I believe in,” he said.
The representative went on to say that he acknowledges that misinformation tends to spread quickly on social media sites but say truth is the best way to combat misinformation.
Timing is Everything
The timing of the proposed bill coincidentally comes at a time when entrepreneur Elon Musk has stated that if his purchase of Twitter becomes a reality, he will reinstate former President Donald Trump's account. Trump was removed from social media sites like Facebook and Twitter after he communicated his 'love' for rioters who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 of last year.
Bill Still in Its Infancy
A house committee meeting to discuss the bill and its possible implications for our state was canceled last week, but it is expected to be heard in committee this week.