Despite brief episodes of Congressional showmanship, federal lawmakers have taken no action to alleviate the growing onslaught of free speech censorship by social media giants that free Americans are experiencing with increasing frequency. This has left many Americans feeling powerless, angry, and ignored.
Finally, state lawmakers have begun to exercise their power over contract law jurisdiction to push back against the social media giants and ensure that the citizens in their states enjoy free speech.
Republicans in Florida and Rhode Island have introduced the Stop Social Media Censorship Act.
“They are trying to limit a person’s self-determination and what someone may want.”
Censorship, free speech, and self-determination:
The Meriam-Webster dictionary defines social media as, “forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos).”
Thus, social media companies are platforms for free speech.
Yet, social media companies’ suffocating knot of censorship continues to tighten, choking off the ability of free people to be heard; to help and reach out to others; to be innovative in thought, in process, and in expression; to share ideas and search for answers; to transcend geographic, social, and economic barriers in communicating and connecting with others.
“They are trying to limit a person’s self-determination and what someone may want, because they have a worldview that says, ‘We forbid this,’” Stephen Black told me.
Mr. Black is a pastor with First Stone Ministries, author of “Freedom Realized,” and a co-founder of the God’s Voice Conference, which was held February 22-23, 2019, at Fairview Baptist Church of Edmond, Oklahoma. The purpose of the God’s Voice Conference was to offer “a Biblical response to the queering of the church,” by radical LGBTQIA+ activist infiltration.
Conference videos were posted to Fairview Baptist’s Vimeo account for public viewing.
Vimeo, which has 80 million registered users, “is an add-free open video platform.” The website proclaims, “Vimeo is all about you and your videos,” and offers the public a tiered choice of user plans ranging in cost, from free to $75 per month.
Earlier this month, Vimeo informed Fairview Baptist that their account had been terminated. Reasons cited by Vimeo included, “an overall mean-spirited vibe,” and what the video platform loosely determined to be “Sexual Orientation Change Efforts.”
Vimeo later reinstated Fairview Baptist’s account after backlash, but still did not restore any of the videos from the God’s Voice Conference.
“It’s not like we asked Vimeo to create a product – to create a God’s Voice video – rather than just hosting speech. Vimeo wasn’t actually providing us a product: their service is to carry speech,” Black explained.
“This is the antithesis to be loving and tolerant.”
A small government solution that packs a BIG punch:
Representative Justin Price on Rhode Island and Florida Senator Joe Gruters have each introduced the Stop Social Media Censorship Act for consideration in their state assemblies. Lawmakers in other states are reportedly planning to the same.
The Stop Social Media Censorship Act utilizes the power that already lies in the hands of each state: jurisdiction over contract law matters.
(Herein this article is a copy of Florida’s version of the bill, which – according to lawyer Chris Severe and associate John Gunter, Jr. – is the most promising version and may be used as a template in other states.)
“[The] state has an interest in helping its citizens enjoy their free exercise of rights in… forums commonly used for religious and political speech.”
The bill, as explained in the above video, is separated into two parts.
- Part one, “states that the state will treat social media websites that were not affiliated with a religious group or a political party from its inception, that has more than 75 million users, open to the public, as public utilities, or quasi state actors, or natural monopolies” or digital public squares. “This would have the effect of subjecting those specific websites with complying with the state and federal constitution.”
- Part two, “creates a private right of action for users within the state who’ve been victimized by social media websites for having a different religious and political would view than the people who work for the social media website.
“These are contract law matters, and contract law is a state law issue.
“The act states that if there’s a social media website that is open to the public and was never affiliated with a religious or political organization from its inception, and if it has more than 75 million users and markets itself as being open to the public, that those websites can be sued by users who are censored for religious and political reasons, because that kind of censorship constitutes breach of contract, fraudulent inducement, unjust enrichment, and bad faith, and unfair dealing.
“Victims of the breach will be permitted to sue the social media websites in the court of competent jurisdiction, and seek $75,000 in statutory damages, attorney fees, and costs, [etc.] They can also seek actual damages and punitive damages.
“$75,000 is a magic number. It’s the jurisdictional minimum that will allow victims of social media censoring to have Article III standing to sue the social media websites in the United States’ federal district courts under diversity jurisdiction. Because most of the social media websites will be domiciled in a different state than the users, the victim of the beach can file a lawsuit in the district court in the state they live in, because that court would have personal jurisdiction over the social media website under the long-arm statue.”
Further, the Stop Social Media Censorship Act incentivizes “the local counsel to represent victims of that [contract] breach, because the prevailing party will be entitled to statutory damages, attorney fees, and because the victims are guaranteed to recover a minimum of $75,000.”
This is the small government, federalist, “lookin’ out for the regular folk” solution to our Goliath problem of social media censorship.
Florida Ssmca Sb1722 2019 by on Scribd
Which companies would be subject to state contract law jurisdiction?
Aside from Vimeo, Twitter and Facebook and YouTube would all be required to honor state contract law.
Facebook has 2.32 billion monthly active users. Facebook’s company mission is “to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them”. Facebook describes itself as “a different kind of company that connects billions of people around the world, gives them ways to share what matters most to them, and helps bring people closer together… to empower power people around the world to build community and connect in meaningful ways.”
Twitter, which has 321 million monthly active users. The website claims it’s public users can “see every side of the story” and “spark a global conversation; both of which are difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish from behind an algorithmic wall designed to suppress the segment of the American population to which you belong.
YouTube, which has 1.9 billion monthly active users. YouTube’s mission “is to give everyone a voice and show them the world.” According to its website, YouTube supports freedom of expression, freedom of information, freedom of opportunity, and freedom to belong.
How fast can you say, “false advertising”?
The Stop Social Media Censorship Act, pliable enough to fit the needs of the citizens of each state, appears to be the small government solution so desperately needed to ensure and to preserve to free voices of a free people. I encourage each reader to study the provided Florida bill and reach out to their state lawmakers.
Make your voice be heard!
Will you help revive the American Conservative Movement?