Home>Articles>New Legislation to Address Issues With Social Media Platforms

New Legislation to Address Issues With Social Media Platforms

Free speech concerns that some are closed out by social media for their views

By Chris Micheli, February 20, 2021 9:00 am

On February 18, Assemblyman James Gallagher introduced Assembly Bill 1114 dealing with social media platforms and concerns that some are closed out by social media. The bill would add Title 15 (commencing with Section 3200) to Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code. Title 15.5 would be titled “Social Media Platforms.”

First, the bill would specify that a social media platform located in California will be considered a limited public form as described in the U.S. Supreme Court’s case of PruneYard Shopping Center v. Robbins (1980) 447 U.S. 74. Second, the bill provides definitions of two terms used in the measure.

The phrase “located in California” is defined as, to the extent consistent with federal law, either the person operating the social media platform maintains a business in California, or the user of that platform is located in California.

And, the term “social media platform” is defined as an electronic service held open to the general public to post electronic content or communication, including, but not limited to, videos, still photographs, or messages, intended to facilitate the sharing of information, ideas, personal messages, and other content. Social media platform does not include a platform operated by a local, state, or federal entity or agency of government.

The bill is expected to be heard in its first policy committee in March.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Spread the news:


One thought on “New Legislation to Address Issues With Social Media Platforms

  1. Yes! I have been saying this forever — that’s the magic court case for ending online censorship. I’m glad somebody finally noticed.

    The constitution of California provides for an affirmative freedom of expression, as opposed to the negative freedom in the First Amendment. What this means is the private operator of a public platform has an affirmative duty to ensure access for a citizen to exercise the public freedom of expression. The case originally centered around signature gatherers in a privately owned shopping mall, but Judge Stanley Mosk said it was the modern equivalent of a “town square” so the operator had to ensure public access for the expression of that affirmative right. An online platform is just a virtual version of that shopping-mall-town-square.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *