Legislation that would force social media platforms to stop censoring citizens failed in the House Banking and Consumer Affairs Subcommittee on Wednesday.
House Bill 1504 (HB1504), sponsored by Representative Monty Fritts (R-Kingston-District 32), aimed to require social media platforms to provide certain information about its content and data management, business practices, and acceptable use policy; prohibit social media platforms from censoring the expression of a user who resides in this state based on viewpoint or geographic location; and impose other related requirements and prohibitions.
After Fritts introduced the bill, the floor was opened for questions.
There was some discussion among representatives about whether the bill would infringe on free market ideals with Representative Kevin Vaughan (R-Collierville-District 95) noting that he could not support the bill because he was a “free market guy” and he did not believe that use of social media platforms was forced on anyone and therefore was not subject to their oversight.
Fritts responded that the intention was to “prevent businesses from deceptive practices” and stated that he felt that was their responsibility.