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Committee Hears Testimony on Social Media Neutrality

Sep 20, 2019

Manipulating or limiting content on social networks would be outlawed in Michigan under a proposal by Representative John Reilly (R-Oakland Twp.). While providing testimony before the House Communications and Technology Committee this week, Representative Reilly stated his bill would ensure social media networks presenting themselves as content and viewpoint neutral treat all viewpoints equally. He pointed to what he believes is a national trend of major social media networks manipulating or limiting content without the knowledge or consent of their users through moderation techniques.

The legislation would make it against the law for a social media company to present itself as content and viewpoint neutral but censor, ban, shadow ban, or reduce the platform of a user on the basis of their political opinions. Social media websites could choose to censor this type of material but would be required to present themselves in a clearer way. Civil fines of up to $25,000 could be imposed. The bill remains before the House Communications and Technology Committee for further consideration.

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