An Arkansas legislator has introduced a bill ahead of the 92nd General Assembly that looks to stop alleged censorship on social media.
The bill, filed on Thursday morning, is known as the "Stop Social Media Censorship Act" and was introduced by state Representative Johnny Rye. He is a first term representative for the 54th district.
It states that if an "owner or operator" of a social media website that resides in Arkansas deletes, censors or "uses an algorithm to suppress" religious or political speech of a user that person is allowed to bring civil action against the site.
For each "purposeful deletion" or censorship, the social media site can be fined a minimum of $75,000, but if the site restores the post "in a reasonable time" it can avoid any fees.
The bill also says that a social media platform "may not use the social media website user's alleged hate speech as a basis for justification or defense to the social media website's action at trial."
In the definition portion of the bill, Rye defines hate speech as "a phrase concerning content that an individual arbitrarily finds offensive based on his or her personal moral code."
But Dictionary.com defines hate speech as "speech that attacks, threatens, or insults a person or group on the basis of national origin, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability."
A social media site would be "immune from liability" if the users has called for "acts of violence, is obscene, or is pornographic in nature."
The 92nd General Assembly is set to begin on January 14, 2018.