Michigan State Representative Beau LaFave (R-Iron Mountain) on Thursday introduced a bill to limit the influence of Big Tech on the state’s elections.
House Bill 5597, entitled Justice Abolishing Corporate Kneecapping (JACK) Act, would prohibit social media platforms from “willfully” de-platforming a candidate running for office.
In order to protect the individuals, the legislation also requires social media sites to establish a method for an individual to identify as a candidate “beginning on the date the user qualifies as a candidate and ending on the date of the election or the date the user ceases to be a candidate.”
“If you’re a declared political candidate for public office and a big-tech company kicks you off their platform, for whatever reason, it’s going to cost them,” LaFave said. “This way, companies such as Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube can’t pick and choose who is allowed on their platforms based on their own political leanings and biases.”
If enacted, a company would face a penalty of $10,000 per day and reasonable attorney fees for violating the law.
“As a state, we cannot allow big-tech to interfere in our democracy,” LaFave added. “The people choose the leaders they want to lead them. And social media has now become the public square – it’s where the debate is happening. It’s where our ideas of this democracy and republic are fought over.”
Several Republican candidates and elected officials have slammed social media platforms for their “censorship.”
In Ohio, U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance’s official campaign press account was suspended by Twitter. The platform claimed the account was suspended by an “error” in its impersonation policy.
Additionally, Twitter suspended the account of Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN-03) for a tweet criticizing a transgender official in the Biden administration.
— — —