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Arkansas AG Rutledge proposes bill that would 'combat cancel culture'

The Arkansas Unfair Social Media Censorship Act would hold social media sites like Twitter and Facebook liable when "unfairly censoring or banning someone."

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — (Eds. Note: The attached video is from a report on a proposed hate crime bill in Arkansas on March 3, 2021.)

A proposed Arkansas bill stating to "promote Arkansas voices" and "combat cancel culture" has been introduced, which would target social media sites like Twitter and Facebook for "unfairly censoring or banning someone," according to Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.

The Arkansas Unfair Social Media Censorship Act claims to "combat cancel culture" by making social media sites liable for damages, such as taking down content for "dubious or pretextual" reasons or if social media sites' terms of service is inconsistent with the reasoning of taking down content.

“This legislation would allow everyone, no matter the circumstances to have an equal and fair opportunity to post online and if a social media giant does not comply, the company can be held accountable,” Rutledge said.

Exceptions of when social media sites are acting under good faith by removing content is when the content is believed to be:

  • Obscene material, such as material related to child sexual abuse, human trafficking, drug trafficking, or cyberstalking;
  • Subject to final judgment of a United States federal or state court directing the removal of the content; or
  • Constitutionally unprotected content promoting terrorism or violence

This bill would allow Twitter, Instagram and other social media companies to pay injunctions and civil penalties up to $10,000 if they "censor, delete or label speech, including religious or political language," Rutledge said.