Two sets of Republican-sponsored bills that aim to prohibit social media platforms from censoring Tennessee residents are headed to Subcommittees and Committees in the House and Senate next week on March 14th, 2023.
House Bill 0682 (HB0682), sponsored by Representative Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro -District 36), and Senate Bill 0111 (SB0111) sponsored by Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixson-District 11) designates social media platforms as “common carriers” requiring them to obtain certificates of public convenience and necessity from the Tennessee public utilities commission.
The proposed legislation would fine platforms for shadow banning users based on their political ideology, viewpoint, or personal animus, or for discrimination based on race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, or national origin.
Rep. Powers, who is the main architect of the bill, believes social media is the town square of our time and that social media companies, just like phone companies or hotel chains, should not discriminate based upon political ideology.