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A gold star for Texas...

Texas Senate passes a bill requiring social media companies to fully explain their censorship decisions and allow a legal route for appeals


Link Here10th April 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in USA...Domain name seizures and SOPA
The Texas Senate has passed a measure that would prohibit large social media companies like Facebook and Twitter from censoring political and religious viewpoints of Texas citizens. The bill now awaits a vote in the Texas House.

Senate Bill 12 was introduced by State Senator Bryan Hughes. Titled Relating to the censorship of users' expressions by an interactive computer service , the bill would not only prohibit censorship, but would require social media companies to disclose their moderation policies, publish reports about any blocked content, and create a legal route for people to appeal any censoring or deplatforming decisions.

Senator Hughes announced the passage on Twitter:

I think we all have to acknowledge that social media companies are the new town square and a small group of people in San Francisco can't dictate free speech for the rest of us.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is expected to sign the bill if it passes the House. Abbott gave his hearty approval of the bill from the beginning, appearing alongside Senator Hughes at a press conference in March to announce the legislation.

 

 

US libraries release their annual list of most complained about books...

Complaints about divisive racism oust the usual complaints about gay propaganda for children


Link Here 7th April 2021
Previous editions of the American Library Association list have been dominated by complaints about books attempting to normalise gay or transgender relationships to children. This year marks a dramatic change and now most books have received complaints about racism issues and about divisive racial politics.

Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020

The American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 156 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2020. Of the 273 books that were targeted, here are the most challenged, along with the reasons cited for censoring the books:

  • George by Alex Gino
    Reasons: Challenged, banned, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, conflicting with a religious viewpoint, and not reflecting "the values of our community"

  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds
    Reasons: Banned and challenged because of author's public statements, and because of claims that the book contains "selective storytelling incidents" and does not encompass racism against all people

  • All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, drug use, and alcoholism, and because it was thought to promote anti-police views, contain divisive topics, and be "too much of a sensitive matter right now"

  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
    Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted because it was thought to contain a political viewpoint and it was claimed to be biased against male students, and for the novel's inclusion of rape and profanity

  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and allegations of sexual misconduct by the author

  • Something Happened in Our Town: A Child's Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin
    Reasons: Challenged for "divisive language" and because it was thought to promote anti-police views

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for racial slurs and their negative effect on students, featuring a "white savior" character, and its perception of the Black experience

  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for racial slurs and racist stereotypes, and their negative effect on students

  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and depicts child sexual abuse

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
    Reasons: Challenged for profanity, and it was thought to promote an anti-police message

 

 

Offsite Article: Twitter vs Texas...


Link Here10th March 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in USA...Domain name seizures and SOPA
Twitter sues Texas Attorney General to avoid investigation into its censorship practices in silencing right wing speech

See article from reclaimthenet.org

 

 

Constitutionally challenged...

US politicians queue up to censor the internet


Link Here7th March 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in USA...Domain name seizures and SOPA
US Republican state lawmakers are pushing for social media giants to face costly lawsuits for policing content on their websites, taking aim at a federal law that prevents internet companies from being sued for removing posts.

GOP (Grand Old Party) politicians in roughly two dozen states have introduced bills that would allow for civil lawsuits against platforms for the censorship of right leaning posts.

Democrats who also have called for greater scrutiny of big tech, are sponsoring the same measures in at least two states.

Experts argue the legislative proposals are doomed to fail while the federal law, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, is in place. They said state lawmakers are wading into unconstitutional territory by trying to interfere with the editorial policies of private companies.

Len Niehoff, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School, described the idea as a constitutional non-starter. He said:

If an online platform wants to have a policy that it will delete certain kinds of tweets, delete certain kinds of users, forbid certain kinds of content, that is in the exercise of their right as a information distributor. And the idea that you would create a cause of action that would allow people to sue when that happens is deeply problematic under the First Amendment.


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