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It’s just a bill

Friday, Sep 17, 2021

* Rep. Chris Miller (R-Oakland) has no co-sponsors yet on his new bill

Creates the Stop Social Media Censorship Act. Provides that the owner or operator of a social media website that censors or deletes a user’s religious or political speech is subject to a private right of action by certain social media website users in this State. Authorizes the recovery of actual damages, statutory damages, and punitive damages. Provides for the award of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs. Prohibits a social media website from using alleged hate speech as a defense. Authorizes the Attorney General to bring an action on behalf of social media website users. Defines terms. Effective July 1, 2021.

Emphasis added. The relevant passage

A social media website may not use the social media website user’s alleged hate speech as a basis for justification or defense of the social media website’s actions at trial.

So, website owners could be forced to pay damages if they deleted commenters who used the n-word? Yeah. Hard, hard, hard pass on that one, dude.

This appears to be stock language that’s being introduced in other states.

* Meanwhile, Rep. Kelly Cassidy’s TExAS Act has picked up 14 co-sponsors and is starting to get noticed by some TikTokers…


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#illinois #texasact #iunderstoodtheassignment #fyp #AEJeansHaveFun

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* From Hannah Meisel’s story that’s linked and referenced above

Ralph Rivera of Illinois Right to Life Action didn’t find Cassidy’s bill very funny, though he did say he would be on board for legalizing bounties for rapists. Otherwise, he speculated some of the broader strokes in the bill might be found unconstitutional.

“We’re talking about human life,” Rivera said. “It’s not silly. Taking a serious matter and trying to be flippant…she could’ve just stated that and not filed a bill.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

27 Comments
  1. - Skeptic - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 11:21 am:

    Freedom from Government Overreach for me, none for thee.


  2. - wayward - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 11:35 am:

    Chris Miller still driving around with that Three Presenters decal on his truck?


  3. - H-W - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 11:39 am:

    ALEC language?


  4. - Morty - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 11:40 am:

    ALEC written?


  5. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 11:41 am:

    In essence…

    It’s the legislative way of the continued weaponization of social media under the guise of “a legal right”?

    That’s, um, an *odd* way to freedom.


  6. - Morty - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 11:42 am:

    I have no idea how that turned into HW, but 11:39 was me


  7. - Morty - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 11:43 am:

    Never mind, I typed it at the same time as HW :)


  8. - 47th Ward - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 11:43 am:

    ===This appears to be stock language that’s being introduced in other states===

    Seems to be a pattern for Republican state legislators. Whether it’s ALEC or whatever fringe group wants to use social media for hate speech, this stuff generally starts off in a policy lab somewhere and ends up being introduced in state houses all over the country.

    It’s as if the Republican legislators have outsourced their brains and consciences to the special interest groups that pay for their services. This could be world’s second oldest profession.


  9. - walker - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 11:52 am:

    Weaponizing civil actions seems to be the latest thing. Leave no stone unhurled.


  10. - H-W - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 11:52 am:

    =It’s as if the Republican legislators have outsourced their brains=

    lol


  11. - ChrisB - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 11:57 am:

    So wait, a user presumably violates the private company’s terms of service, gets deleted, and the company has to pay damages?

    Yeah, no. This is a terrible idea.


  12. - JS Mill - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 11:59 am:

    So Chris Miller wants more regulations of business and a heavy government hand on private enterprise?

    I guess when you are a socialist used to government handouts you are like that.


  13. - vern - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 12:00 pm:

    So, I understand that the far right’s true position is “freedom for me, rule of law for everyone else.” I know the Constitution is something they see as a useful rhetorical tool in service of that goal, not as actual words creating rights for everyone. But as long as they’re still paying lip service, we may as well accept those terms and interrogate laws like Rep Miller’s on Constitutional grounds.

    I’m genuinely curious to know what Rep Miller’s understanding of the 1st Amendment is. Clearly he thinks social companies can be forced to host and broadcast speech even if the company thinks it’s offensive, harmful, or just bad for business. My guess is that he thinks schools shouldn’t be able to mandate masks. My guess is that he thinks airlines and concert venues shouldn’t be able to mandate vaccines.

    But the law isn’t determined solely by discrete situations; we rely on precedent and analogy make the law logical and consistent. So how far would Rep Miller extend these principles?

    - If a school can’t ban masks, can they ban spaghetti straps, sagging pants, or hoods?

    - If a social media company can’t delete unwelcome hate speech from its servers, can a synagogue erase hate speech graffiti from its walls?

    - If, as Madison Cawthorn said, there’s an “unrestricted” right to air travel (https://news.yahoo.com/madison-cawthorn-says-constitution-protects-115328279.html), can airlines still charge for tickets?

    If Chris Miller’s response to these questions is “because I said so,” that’s his right, but if he agrees that the Constitution is still the law of the land, he should think hard about questions like these. The Constitution isn’t a wordless monument or magical incantation. It’s a non-negotiable framework to ensure our laws make sense. Luckily for Chris Miller, it can’t ensure his ideas make sense.


  14. - Franklin - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 12:09 pm:

    Virtues have been signaled


  15. - Suburban Mom - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 12:10 pm:

    Luv 2 watch the GOP lose all concept of the sanctity of contracts.

    (It’d be really funny, though, if they got one of these passed in a small-population state, and the big social media companies just decided to shut off service to that state, like a bunch of pretty big US websites did to Europe when GDPR came in and they weren’t ready, counting on user outcry as leverage.)


  16. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 12:18 pm:

    It should be noted Durkin wouldn’t mind… Afghanistan… being a campaign issue… and I guess Durkin thinks the Texas abortion bill won’t be?

    House Republicans stood up against the Illinois abortion bill, while on the floor…


  17. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 12:20 pm:

    If Rep. Miller’s bill were to pass, we could all post a lot more colorful things on this blog. Including (and especially) about Rep. Miller and the destructive things he’s doing. (And, we might be able to use -banned punctuation- and all caps to emphasize our points.) That’s what he wants, right? :-P


  18. - Commisar Gritty - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 12:24 pm:

    Really though, I try to remind myself that there are Republicans in both Illinois chambers that, while we may have some disagreements on policy, are genuinely there because they wsnt to serve their community. Chris and Mary Miller stand in stark contract to that belief.


  19. - Pundent - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 12:33 pm:

    Top tip for the GOP. Maybe it’s as easy as not cultivating votes from, and cowering to, wackpots.

    Samantha Bee summed it up nicely the other day when she said that the GOP was terrified of “the hate-filled, conspiracy-loving base they cultivated.” Adding, “but you know it’s their (banned word) problem not ours.”


  20. - Perrid - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 12:49 pm:

    Maybe a lawyer can help me out, but can’t victims of crime already sue perpetrators in civil court? Most of the time it wouldn’t be worth it, right now. As for unwanted pregnancies, it kinda sounds like she’s basically just changing how child support works? When it starts, who gets paid, how much, etc. The bill seems like it changes both of those ideas quite a bit, couches it in language that thumbs its nose at Texas, but neither idea seems completely new.


  21. - Leslie K - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 1:20 pm:

    No please. Just no.

    And @Perrid–I haven’t read the language of the various bills yet, but my impression from the coverage is that this approach gives anyone and his horse standing in court. Not just victims. (ready to be corrected…)


  22. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 1:20 pm:

    ===but my impression from the coverage===

    The bill is linked.


  23. - Roadrager - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 1:37 pm:

    Rep. Miller introduces the “Don’t Deplatform My Wife Act of 2021.”


  24. - PublicServant - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 1:45 pm:

    === Stop Social Media Censorship Act. ===

    LOL. GOP virtue-signaling. DOA.


  25. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 1:54 pm:

    The first words of the opinion on a suit challenging Miller’s bill if it became law would be something like - “The Act before us is unconstitutional. Let me count the ways.”


  26. - Perrid - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 2:25 pm:

    Leslie, thanks for that, that was something I was overlooking, that absolutely anyone could sue. I even read it, it just didn’t register as a difference in my mind for some reason.

    Also, same as with Texas’ SB 8, I would hope that this languages is too broad and vague to actually stand up under scrutiny, but we’ll see.


  27. - zatoichi - Friday, Sep 17, 21 @ 2:27 pm:

    I would like to request a bill where state politicians developing inane ideas or stealing inane ideas from other states are subject to a private right of action by citizens in this State. It would authorize the recovery of actual damages, statutory damages, and punitive damages from those politicians. Provides for the award of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.


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