Senator Burgess, District 20 — Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 9, 2021
Senator Danny Burgess moves to protect Floridians' First Amendment Rights
Tallahassee, FL - Yesterday’s events regarding Twitter’s decision to permanently ban the President of the United States and Apple threatening to remove the conservative-leaning application known as Parler, has prompted Senator Danny Burgess (R-Zephyrhills) to file landmark legislation to protect Floridians from this dangerous precedent.
The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law…prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech…” “It seems to me that the government explicitly has granted Facebook, Twitter, and others immunity under federal law. As publishers of third-party content, they should not be allowed to discriminate based on content and ban individuals just because they do not agree with their viewpoint.” says Senator Burgess.
This bill, as it stands, would require social media websites to provide electronic notice to a user who has been disabled or suspended, within 30 days, and explain why this user was punished. Senator Burgess fully intends to amend this legislation to include social media censorship and rely on the committee process to evaluate its merits.
“I just filed the Combating Public Disorder bill that creates a criminal offense for individuals who cyber intimidate others online. This bill goes a step further by signaling to social media websites that regardless of a person’s background, political history, religion, race, gender, or any other identifying measure, Twitter and Facebook cannot be the sole judge, jury, and executioner on American’s First Amendment rights. For better or for worse, social media has become a major part of our everyday life and society. These unilateral actions set a terrifying precedent that must be addressed appropriately. ” says Senator Burgess.