Following the announcement that Facebook will uphold their ban of former President Donald Trump, Senator Michael Testa, Assemblymen Erik Simonsen and Antwan McClellan (All R-1) are introducing legislation that places penalties against social media platforms for the censorship and banning of conservative political and journalist voices.
“The muzzling of freedom of speech by social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, have shown that prominent conservative voices are not welcomed on the world’s leading social media platforms,” Senator Testa stated. “Today’s announcement of Facebook’s six month extension of their ban on former President Donald Trump exposes that social media has and always will control the narrative that they see fit – unless leaders take action.
“More must be done here in New Jersey to ensure that duly elected officials and candidates are not silenced for their viewpoints that ‘King’ Zuckerberg does not agree with,” Assemblyman Simonsen added. “That is why we are proud to introduce legislation which protects freedom of speech and ensures that all perspectives, no matter how unpopular, are protected.”
“This is not a Republican issue nor a Democrat issue, this is an issue of protecting everyone’s First Amendment right of freedom of speech,” Assemblyman McClellan said. “No individual or corporation should have complete power to silence those who share opposing viewpoints. Our nation was built on the foundation that all Americans, regardless of race, religion, or political opinion should have the ability to freely voice their ideals and beliefs.”
The Assemblymen’s legislation establishes a cause of action against social media websites for the censoring or banning of certain users has been introduced today. Senator Testa plans to introduce the Senate version when the Senate convenes.
Additionally, the bill sets damages for social media companies found in violation of the bill, in accordance with federal, State, and local laws.