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Florida senator Joe Gruters proposes the 'Stop Social Media Censorship Act'

By Polycount ยท 34 replies
Mar 18, 2019
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  1. Given that they boast user numbers in the tens of millions and yearly revenues far beyond that, it's tough to deny the influence of websites like Facebook and Twitter.

    However, many politically-minded users feel that this influence is being wielded unfairly. Specifically, several prominent right-leaning users on Twitter and Facebook have seen their posts or accounts deleted, for reasons that they feel stem from political biases.

    One Florida senator has lost his patience with such practices and decided to take matters into his own hands. Republican Joe Gruters has introduced Senate Bill 1722, which he refers to as the "Stop Social Media Censorship Act."

    The Act may enable Florida's Attorney General to hit social media websites with $75,000 fines if they censor users for "hate speech" or other subjective reasons.

    The Act may enable Florida's Attorney General to hit social media websites with $75,000 fines if they censor users for "hate speech" or other subjective reasons. This punishment would only apply to social media websites with 75 million users or more.

    While we encourage you to at least skim over the full bill, Gruters summarizes his proposal as follows:

    Citing this act as the "Stop Social Media Censorship Act"; providing that the owner or operator of a social media website is subject to a private right of action by a social media website user in this state under certain conditions; prohibiting a social media website from using hate speech as a defense; authorizing the Attorney General to bring an action on behalf of a social media website user, etc.

    It remains to be seen how much support this bill will garner in the long run, but given how heated the censorship debate has gotten in recent months, it's almost certain to generate quite a bit of discussion; no matter which side of the political divide you fall on.

    Permalink to story.

  2. bexwhitt

    bexwhitt TS Evangelist Posts: 406   +124

    Republicans love big government when it serves their purpose, private companies regardless of how ubiquitous they have become should be able to police their content how they see fit.
  3. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,156   +840

    100% correct

    #1 Any ***** who actually reads the constitution understands that Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are private entities. They are not "Congress". They are under no obligation to tolerate what they consider "hatespeech" or "bullying".

    #2 The Republican conservative rhetoric - especially regarding "nationalism" (White supremacist racism) is often hatespeeh rhetoric and they can't stand the fact that Youtube, Facebook and Twitter won't tolerate it. Lee Atwater told em to keep their racism abstract , but there's only so much they can do to hide it before it gets them banned.

    Now I won't ignore the hateful rhetoric on the left either...but 9 times out of 10, it's a pro-Trump, Conservative Republican Nationalist Patriot... who is flashing guns on Facebook and spweing anti Islam, anti Semite and anti - Latino rhetoric - and then trying to hide behind "border security" or "patriotism" in order to keep their dog whistling abstract enough to not violate the terms of service.

    Half of all trolling is figuring out how to say something hateful without violating the TOS.

    I always say: get your own servers and you can say whatever you want.

    But what they want is to be spewing this filth in public - on the internet - over Social media servers.


    Can you imagine how much homophobic, racist, misogynistic, transphobic, antisemitic, anti-Islamic and threatening speech could be posted on Facebook, Twitter or Youtube if a bonehead law like this was allowed to pass?

    People would end up declining to use these social media services and they'd be ruined.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  4. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,825   +2,174

    My bet is that this will be ruled unconstitutional IF it ever passes. I bet whatever speech might be covered by this would quickly devolve into everything you mention as well as incitement to violence. SCOTUS has already ruled that incitement to violence is NOT protected free speech.
  5. erickmendes

    erickmendes TS Evangelist Posts: 567   +246

    What retard is proposing this law?
    TempleOrion and Black Paper like this.
  6. wizardB

    wizardB TS Booster Posts: 145   +47

    I have a way better idea just shutter your Twitter, Facebook etc. account and go outside to enjoy your life social media is a total waste of everyone's time.
  7. wizardB

    wizardB TS Booster Posts: 145   +47

    Actually your very wrong the left has proven that they are the least tolerant group out there now as a matter of fact their methods of dealing with any disagreement to "their " way of thinking is as close to the way all totalitarian governments have dealt with opposition, they act just like the Nazis they profess to hate.
  8. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,661   +2,416

    "Republicans love big government when it serves their purpose, private companies regardless of how ubiquitous they have become should be able to police their content how they see fit."

    Then I guess liberals are OK with fascism when it serves their purpose. I mean, you're totally NOT OK with the government telling these companies who they should demonetize or ban, right? Because that is exactly what some of the most powerful liberals in Washington have been doing. They have repeatedly threatened to punish Google, Facebook and other big online entities unless they start suppressing free speech that doesn't support the liberal agenda. Their being supported by phony pressure groups who are bankrolled by George Soros, the world's biggest employer of protestors-for-hire. That's the part that you're NOT hearing in the mainstream press. And wasn't it the left that said Trump didn't have the right to censor anyone on his personal accounts on those same social networks? I guess liberals are OK with double standards as well. Today you cheer censorship when it supports your own politics. Tomorrow it may not.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
    Morris Minor, Gmachine, m4a4 and 5 others like this.
  9. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,805   +665

    I am all for it. The left spews hate and lies. The censorship form the left is unconscionable
    Morris Minor and wizardB like this.
  10. Reachable

    Reachable TS Evangelist Posts: 369   +183

    The left is being censored also. In fact, that's the primary target. The right was censored first because they're a soft target with their hate speech and conspiracy theories.
  11. Thrackerzod

    Thrackerzod TS Booster Posts: 58   +43

    This guy is dumb. How do these people get elected? I bet if people started posting hate speech about HIM though he'd suddenly be crying about it though and wanting it removed. Social media sites have every right to remove any content they deem unacceptable.
    TempleOrion and Black Paper like this.
  12. Knot Schure

    Knot Schure TS Addict Posts: 252   +109

    If this comes in, I may consider moving back to the US.

    A bit is common sense in law is waaaaay overdue in Europe, where people are arrested for speaking about, or insulting (rightfully - in the minds of many), the 'religion of special needs'.

    On a well-known news site, I am on my third account.

    And I insult no-one.

    However, it seems my in-depth knowledge of Islam has me 'banned' for explaining things in conversation, that others are working hard to perverse with incorrect explanations.

    Quoting the Koran and Hadith, in its correct context (and timeline), seems to trigger many Muslims, and I think quoting THEIR text, should not have anybody arrested for merely correcting Muslim lies (taqiyya) and deception in supposedly, 'open' online forums.

    I see these sites not posting my comments (however mild) at all, and I notice the The Daily Telegraph (UK), which is the only site I will specifically call out - alters your up / down-votes (Try to guess in which way), and ask yourself why they dumped the wonderfully-written disquss messaging platform? It was for CONTROL and SILENCE on any news articles.

    People censoring comments on news sites, are the new commies. They are toxic, despicable people in my opinion, and have much to answer for, and no nothing of the freedoms they (likely) take for granted.

    HOW many news sites let us comment on Fridays' shooting story as it broke?!?, or did you see 'sorry we are not accepting comments on this story' (again).....?
    Morris Minor likes this.
  13. Dimitrios

    Dimitrios TS Guru Posts: 430   +310

    Good! I got banned on Fakebook for 3 days a few times because I stated some facts on my local news and used bestgore, liveleak, thegudda & liveleak links for proof.
    Morris Minor likes this.
  14. bexwhitt

    bexwhitt TS Evangelist Posts: 406   +124

    It's proactive V reactive, I think you will find the ones trying to put others down are on the right, the left are reacting to that which is hardly the same. My post was about right-wingers loving big government when it suits there agenda like regulating women's uteri.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  15. Tantor

    Tantor TS Enthusiast Posts: 43   +59

    You're absolutely correct about Republicans. They were founded as part of the consolidation of Federal power under Lincoln, and are the epitome of big government. Their groaning about Democratic policies is just to fool their constituents, who they keep stabbing in the back. Notice how they invariably give the Democrats what they want?

    Don't fall for the Republican nonsense that they are Conservatives. The Republican leadership HATES Trump supporters, who tend to be true conservatives, I.e., small business owners, state's rights advocates, and traditional Americans.
  16. Lew Zealand

    Lew Zealand TS Guru Posts: 592   +482

    So, ah, do any of you guys argue AMD vs. Nvidia vs. Intel on political sites? Just wondering if the crossover occurs there, too.

    Oh! And does nobody change their mind there, either?
    Black Paper likes this.
  17. Black Paper

    Black Paper TS Member

    Already invoking Godwin's law this early while the day is still young.
    If they don't like it, they simply can go make a safe space somewhere else.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  18. Black Paper

    Black Paper TS Member

    The only place I saw that were blocking posts that day was Fox News on their Youtube. You're welcome to verify. The 'FAKE NEWS' channels still had commenting enabled. I do believe all venues are actively filtering negative posts, however.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  19. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,825   +2,174

    I might agree with you that it is one-sided, but 45.
  20. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,825   +2,174

    I am already doing all those things because I have never had an account at any of the "social media" sites that you mention, nor any other "social media" site.
  21. Bullwinkle M

    Bullwinkle M TS Booster Posts: 125   +64

    So glad you mentioned that....

    My comments here at techspot were censored because I basically called the new Radeon VII "underwhelming" just minutes before Jensen Huang calls Radeon VII "underwhelming" and "lousy" at CES

    My opinion is censored and Huang's comment becomes a Story
    Go figure.....

    Any comment Techspot?
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
    Black Paper likes this.
  22. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,155   +1,411

    All your generalizing, name-calling, and finger-pointing aside... the challenge is deciding what 'hate-speech' is.

    here's an example - the new favorite Democrat to enter the presidential race is Beto O'Rourke. Know what he said that he had to apologize for this week? He said 'Sometimes she even lets me help' when talking about him helping his wife take care of their kids. is that hate speech? because some people think so. (if you can't figure out why that's such an awful thing to say, you're not alone)

    how about the phrase 'marriage is between a man and a woman' is that hate speech? Depends who you ask, because many people say yes.

    The point is - defining hate speech is left up to the offended. And no matter what you say, there's always someone who's offended. You just said the republican rhetoric is 'White supremacist racism'! There's no doubt that calling people racist is hateful, so should someone be able to have your post removed?

    The answer of course is using some common sense - because we all (the left AND the right) despise racism and bigotry etc. But this 'hatespeech' defense has been abused, and that's the problem. If Facebook and others hadn't been pulling it out every time they wanted to ban someone (even if they're African American), then maybe we wouldn't have senators getting upset about it.
    Morris Minor likes this.
  23. Tantor

    Tantor TS Enthusiast Posts: 43   +59

    You're not correct about conservatives regulating women's uteri. The issue is the fetal right to life. They believe the fetus is a human being therefore abortion is murder. The government DOES have a right to intervene in matters of murder.

    Everyone agrees that all people have a fundamental right to not be forced into parenthood. It's called 'pro-choice'. However, once conception occurs, it conflicts with other fundamental rights such as the fetus' right to life and the father's right to be a parent. Fathers also have responsibility to protect their children. The fetus IS his child after all, even if the woman doesn't want it.

    Let's take the Progressive side. Assume that pro-choice and equal treatment are the primary, undeniable human rights. Then why don't they grant equal, pro-choice rights to men? If a woman decides to have a baby, why can't he default on parenthood? Women can. A man who denies a 'woman's right to choose' is called a sexist bigot. Yet if he claims the same right for himself, he's also called a sexist bigot. Progressives claim to care about equal treatment and pro-choice. Yet they unapologetically deny men those rights. Odd.

    Progressives promote gun restrictions to prevent killing. But they strongly oppose abortion restrictions, which would minimize the killing of fetuses. Why is that?

    Progressives believe they are morally correct. But they are also profoundly atheistic. They don't believe human souls exist. If souls exist, it's impossible to determine just when one enters the fetus. Therefore, to be safe, you must assume it is present at conception, which makes abortion a form of murder. Progressives are utterly uninterested in that question, regarding it as irrelevant. Hence they do not believe in the human soul.

    They are concerned with the sacredness of life. But how can human life be sacred if there is no soul? If humans have no soul, then murder is not a crime. That may be why Communism denies religion. Communism believes humans are state property and can be disposed of to benefit the state.

    George Orwell wrote in Animal Farm that some animals are more equal than others. It's true that the progressive intellectual tradition has been strongly influenced by Communism.

    The progressive world view is highly contradictory. Their hearts may be in the right place, but they don't ask the deeper questions.
    Morris Minor likes this.
  24. Paul Deemer

    Paul Deemer TS Rookie Posts: 19   +14

    Why do we have Hate Crime Laws if Republicans in Florida and Trump himself want to make Hate speech not criminal or punishable? For all the BS Trump is spewing about Fake News and Republicans saying they are being censored well it's their own fault! Most of country believes in Equal rights for everyone to a point. If you can't live in society and get along with people and your attacking people online and violating laws then obviously you need to be in jail or censored. Is this about Alex Jones and Roger Stone being censored and banned? Alex Jones was banned for violating the terms of service. Roger Stone was muzzled because he threatened the Judge who is handling his case. So Republicans are outraged that Social Media platforms have a TOS??? If you don't violate the TOS you won't have any problems. That means you respect people and you get alonng or you act like an *** and get banned! Simple as that. Sorry but most of us really don't give a damn about the Woe is Me Crybaby Temper Tantrums the President and his base are wailing about.
    TempleOrion and Black Paper like this.
  25. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,156   +840

    And that will be left to the owners of these social media websites.

    Not some sad conservative who wants bigger government in order to allow more right-wingers to be able to spew their intimidating, violent, racist, and hateful rhetoric over the net.

    I'll say it again.

    If conservatives/republicans/right wingers/ racists/nationalists - whatever they want to call themselves - can get their own servers.

    But as for allowing them to spread it through private servers...the answer is NO.

    The answer is NO.

    The answer is: it will NOT be tolerated.

    Do you understand?

    This bonehead law will never see the light of day.

    Facebook, Youtube and Twitter will continue to do what they've been doing with impunity.

    "CONGRESS shall make no law".
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
    TempleOrion and Black Paper like this.

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