Social media companies could see $250,000/day fine for banning Arizona candidates

(The Center Square) – Social media platforms that choose to suspend or ban candidates for office would face tens of thousands – or hundreds of thousands – of dollars a day in fines under legislation working its way through the Legislature.

The House Commerce Committee on Tuesday approved Senate Bill 1106 along party lines. The bill defines how a social media suspends, bans or reduces the exposure of an account. This is also referred to as “shadowbanning.” 

Under the bill, the Arizona Secretary of State may fine a social media platform $25,000 a day for hindering the speech of a candidate for office. The penalty increases to $250,000 a day if the issue concerns a candidate for statewide office.

“This legislation seeks to reinforce the First Amendment, especially for political speech,” said Sen. Wendy Rogers, R-Flagstaff, of her bill. “Which I have personal experience in telling you it is a higher bar than regular speech.”

The legislation also provides similar protections for accounts identifying as journalists.

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