By: Charles Benninghoff
─ LAS VEGAS, NV: Social media giants like Facebook, Youtube and Twitter now have legions of foreign workers dictating to Americans what will be allowed to be published in social media.
Amazing but true! Take for instance the case of Representative Marsha Blackburn R-TN who was subjected to Youtube censorship when she tried to have a campaign video shown online only because some Youtube worker decided to censor it. BOOM! Off Congresswoman Blackburn’ video went. The Youtube employee was judge, jury and executioner!
These reasons, and many more, are why we have proposed The Social Freedom Act of 2018 that the following be enacted:
(Original Signature of Member)
|115th CONGRESS2d SESSION||
To provide relief to users of Social Media as defined herein within the United States if such users have had their participation in social media censored on account of social, political, religious, or historical perspectives.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
This is a DRAFT of A BILL seeking a sponsoring Member of the House of Representatives
who will carry this bill for the purposes stated herein as such may be modified, clarified
and amended [and to actively solicit from all Members their support as cosponsors).
To provide relief for those who have been censored, as defined herein, on social media, as defined herein, for having expressed social, political, religious or historical perspectives.
SECTION 1: SHORT TITLE.
(a) Short Title. ─ This Act may be cited as the “Social Freedom Act of 2018” or as the “SFA of 2018”.
(b) Table of Contents ─ to be supplied
TITLE 1 ─ Definitions
In this title:
(1) IN GENERAL ─ Except as otherwise specifically provided herein, any term used in this title that is also used in telecommunications laws shall have the meaning as used.
(2) SOCIAL MEDIA ─ The term “SOCIAL MEDIA” means computer-mediated technologies operated by an organization that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks and, as such, have the following characteristics:
1. User-generated content such as text posts or comments, digital photos or videos and data generated through all online interactions between permitted users;
2. Users create service-specific profiles for the social media website or app that are designed and maintained by the social media organization;
3. Social media facilitate the development of online social networks by connecting a user’s profile with those of other individuals or groups.
(3) CENSORING or CENSORED ─ the term “censored” or “censoring” shall have the broadest possible interpretation given to it and generally shall considered to have occurred when a preponderance of the following facts shall have occurred:
1. The social media organization (SMO) has a centralized structure that communicates to the public through a website;
2. The SMO has had 5,000 or more users, registered or not, within the previous year.
3. A user of the SMO is able to initiate the posting of data on the SMO’s public website or app, whether or not such posting requires opening of an account based upon an email address, telephone number, name or other identifying adopted or assigned data;
4. A user with an account is able within the SMO’s website or app to publicly publish information in an intelligible format (sometimes herein “post”);
5. The SMO has instituted any procedure or process whereby any user’s post can be censored by the SMO based upon any criteria whether public or privately held. Such “censorship” may consist of, but is not limited to, non-publication of a post, shadow-banning wherein a post is relegated by the SMO to an inferior position, increased advertising rates based upon ideas expressed, or de-publication (such as banning or censure).
6. As a result of the SMO’s censorship of any post, any user has had a post limited in its ability to be read by the public.
TITLE II ─ PROCEDURE
(1) Any user who alleges that an SMO has CENSORED a post in violation
of this ACT may resort to judicial process before any court of competent jurisdiction or may
demand of the SMO a private arbitration under the provisions of the Federal Arbitration Act 9
USC §1 et seq.
(2) If private arbitration is desired by the user, then the user and SMO
(“party” or “parties”) shall appoint an arbitrator and the arbitrators so appointed my appoint an
additional if an even number has been appointed.
(3) Each party shall be responsible for their own costs and expenses.
(4) All proceedings of the arbitration shall be conducted electronically
including the giving of testimony, submission of documentary evidence, and
(5) The decision of the arbitral panel shall be final, binding and non-
appealable and enforceable in any court of competent jurisdiction as though it were a judgment
on the merits after a trial thereof.
(6) The burden of the user is to prove it is more likely than not that censorship
occurred and that such censorship was the act and deed of either the SMO or any person who
was authorized by the SMO with powers sufficient to have invoked censorship with or without
TITLE III ─ REMEDIES ─ The following Remedies shall be available to any user who has
proven censorship by trial or arbitration by an SMO or a duly empowered agent of any SMO:
(1) The SMO shall publicly publish the allegations of the user, the
documentation submitted in the case and the finding of the court or arbitral panel in a manner
sufficient to prove public distribution and knowledge of the wrongdoing and report the same to
the Director of the Federal Communications Commission within 30 days of such finding.
(2) In cases where the SMO has been found responsible for censorship, the
court or arbitral panel shall determine the damages to be paid by the SMO to the user.
(3) As a matter of course in any case where censorship has occurred, a report
of such shall be made to the designated agent at the Federal Communications Commission by
any SMO that has been judged to have censored under this Act.
(4) The Federal Communications Commission shall establish an annual report that accumulates the data for each case filed under this Act and the results if any from any court or arbitral panel for the purpose of monitoring the application of this Act, demonstrating to the public efforts to fight social media censorship and the cumulative results for all Social Media Organizations as defined herein. Such report shall be known as the Social Media Censorship Report of XXX (designate each year) and prominently and publicly published on FCC.GOV no later than 90 days after the close of any calendar year.
TITLE IV – Deductibility
(1) In cases where an SMO has been adjudged to have censored a user, and had not admitted culpability prior to hearing or trial, expenses in defending itself in the matter are neither ordinary nor necessary expenses and cannot be deducted as such from income in the determination of United States federal income tax liability.
(2) The Director of the Federal Communications Commission no more than 180 days after the end of any calendar year shall forward to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue Service the report established hereunder in TITLE 3 subsection (4) for further processing by said agency.