Arizona Legislation Aims to Protect Online Users From Big Tech

Arizona Legislation Aims to Protect Online Users From Big Tech

Jim McCool
Jim McCool
October 22, 2023

Across state legislatures, there has been a recent shift in passing legislation regarding content moderation on social media platforms.  Despite the Supreme Court reviewing the constitutionality of this type of action, the state of Arizona has been one of the only states to prevent social media companies, or "Big Tech," from removing "dangerous" content from their platforms.

A recent report from the Computer & Communications Industry Association demonstrated over 200 bills regarding moderating content on social media that is deemed dangerous per the respective law are actively in the process of being passed in state governments across the nation.

The question of social media in American society has become a more prominent one in politics the deeper the nation moves into the 21st Century.  After the January 6th riots in 2021 when President Trump's (R) Twitter and other social media accounts were silenced, and billionaire Elon Musk bought Twitter, now X, the issue of free speech has hit closer to home for many Americans.

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Once again, Arizona is a political outlier, this time with SB 1106.  The new bill takes inspiration from a 2021 Florida law and makes several augmentations to how social media ought to operate in the political sphere.  The language of the bill strongly communicates that social media platforms cannot deplatform a user who is known by the social media company to be a political candidate.

SB 1106 not only creates regulations for banning users but also allows more privileges to those who are banned from using social media applications.  The bill allows those who have been banned 60 days to retrieve information and personal material from their account, a violation of this by the social media company would result in legal penalties.

Arizona is one of the few states that is striving towards an internet landscape that is not censored, yet restricts social media companies' abilities to enact their own policies over content on their websites.  For the time being it seems that elected officials find that this is the only viable way to protect social media users.

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Jim McCool

Jim McCool

is based in Tallahassee and is currently a Senior at Florida State University, studying Political Science and Religion. With a deep interest in politics, Jim has been initiated into the Benjamin Franklin Society of Scholars, and has competed nationally in undergraduate Mock Trial, as well as started the Moot Court team at his former high school. When not writing or studying, Jim is usually hitting the gym, watching reruns of Frasier, or keeping tabs on the New England Patriots.

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