GOP and Democrat legislators are advocating for laws to permit lawsuits over social media censorship

GOP legislators in many states are reportedly pursuing this kind of legislation.
(Wodicka/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

GOP state lawmakers in multiple states are advocating for social media companies to face lawsuits for policing the material posted on their platforms, targeting a federal law that shields internet companies from being sued for pulling down posts. 

"GOP politicians in roughly two dozen states have introduced bills that would allow for civil lawsuits against platforms for what they call the 'censorship' of posts," the Associated Press reported. "Many protest the deletion of political and religious statements, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Democrats, who also have called for greater scrutiny of big tech, are sponsoring the same measures in at least two states."

While there is some variation among the pieces of legislation, many of them would permit civil lawsuits when a social media user endures censorship for posts pertaining to politics or religion, with some measures allowing for a whopping $75,000 in damages per post blocked, according to the wire service. "They would apply to companies with millions of users and carve out exemptions for posts that call for violence, entice criminal acts or other similar conduct," the outlet noted.

"Experts argue the legislative proposals are doomed to fail while the federal law, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, is in place. They said state lawmakers are wading into unconstitutional territory by trying to interfere with the editorial policies of private companies," the AP reported.