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Texas Representatives tackle content, social media censorship

Senate Bill 12 could impact what you can say on some online platforms.
Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 11:19 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Thursday marks one week since governor Greg Abbott’s special legislative session at the Texas capitol in Austin began.

Some of the governor’s agenda items like, Senate Bill 12, could impact what you can say on some online platforms.

Millions of people log onto social media platforms every minute to check weather and news. However, there are limitations on what type of content social media platforms allow users to share. Senate Bill 12 is proposing a safeguard to that censorship for Texans.

TEXAS SPECIAL SESSION COVERAGE:

“If you’re an open platform, you have to at least say what is acceptable and what is unacceptable. Then if they ban you you have to provide the user a reason that they were banned. Like how did they violate that and they should have a complaint or appeals process,” said Representative James Frank, Texas District 69.

If this bill were to become a new law in Texas, it would apply to social media platforms that have more than a 100 million active users a month. It was also include anyone that resides, does business, or receives content in the Lone Star State.

“They have a lot of protections through the federal governments so that they can provide a platform. Well when you start deciding what’s on your platform and what’s not and particularly and when you start being biased on political speech that changes you to more of a content creator now all of a sudden you’re creating content,” said Frank.

In addition to wanting major social media platforms like Twitter Instagram and Facebook to make terms and conditions clearer, the bill also forces companies to provide complaint hotlines Monday through Friday. It also explains what could happen to those platforms if they choose not to agree.

“They can sue in court now, it’s not going to happen very often, no, but I think it will happen enough by people who get censored. So it will to probably make those social media [companies] put the processes in place that should probably already be in place today,” said Frank.

Frank said they have not heard feedback from any social media companies on Senate Bill 12 and it has yet to be voted on.

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