COLUMBUS – State Representative Scott Wiggam (R-Wayne County) announced the introduction of new legislation that will prohibit social media platforms from censoring users when they are expressing themselves unless it is in violation of state or federal law.
The bill’s purpose is to prevent Big Tech companies from discriminating against citizens based on ideological beliefs or viewpoints.
“The bill does not apply to services or platforms that are primarily engaged in their own expression,” said Wiggam. “Instead, it bars viewpoint discrimination by platforms that serve as publicly accessible conduits for the speech of others.”
The legislation applies to services or platforms with more than 50 million monthly users and companies that qualify as common carriers, which are barred from discriminating against First Amendment rights.
Currently, 29 other states have introduced similar legislation to protect free speech from Big Tech censorship.
“Big Tech dominance is not simply a product of private enterprise,” said Wiggam. “The dominance of big tech arose partly from government support. Tech communication over print and in-person is excused from liability in the courts. This government advantage gave them their dominance and power to censor.”
The legislation would also give users the right to sue for both declaratory and injunctive relief, if they have been subject to viewpoint discrimination.
The bill is also being sponsored by Representative Al Cutrona (R-Canfield) and co-sponsored by 33 other legislators.