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Babylon Bee sues California over censorship law

"It’s a good thing when people are allowed to speak freely," Dillion wrote. "It’s a bad thing when Big Tech and the government work together to decide what we’re allowed to say."

Published: April 12, 2023 3:45pm

Christian satire site The Babylon Bee is suing California to stop the enforcement of a law requiring tech platforms to provide reporting on misinformation and hate speech or face fines.

CEO Seth Dillon confirmed the suit in a Wednesday Substack post, asserting that the law is "unconstitutional" and outlining the merits of their argument, which largely rests on First Amendment claims.

Alongside the Bee, podcaster Tim Pool and social media app Minds are fellow plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs assert that the law, AB 587, "targets constitutionally protected speech." Dillon indicated that the law, billed as a "transparency" measure, amounts to censorship, pointing to California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom's past comments on the law.

"California will not stand by as social media is weaponized to spread hate and disinformation that threaten our communities and foundational values as a country," he said.

"It’s a good thing when people are allowed to speak freely," Dillon wrote. "It’s a bad thing when Big Tech and the government work together to decide what we’re allowed to say. Why? Because they often get it wrong. Even worse, they get it wrong on purpose."

The Bee has a history of brushing up against the limits of big tech content moderation guidelines. The site's Twitter account received a ban in 2022 for a transgender joke, which they refused to remove to regain access. The site's access to its account was restored in November 2022.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

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