Arizona lawmakers urged to pass legislation banning officials from censoring social media

A state House committee held another hearing on Monday where speakers urged them to pass laws that keep officials from censoring social media posts.
Published: Oct. 16, 2023 at 6:52 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Witnesses testifying before a House committee on Monday urged lawmakers to pass new laws barring government officials from flagging false information on social media even when it’s false or misleading. The three speakers who appeared before the Republican-led committee argued that free speech is threatened anytime the government asks a social media platform to remove a post.

It was the second meeting of the temporary Committee on Oversight, Accountability and Big Tech that was set up following reports that Gov. Katie Hobbs asked for certain post to be removed while she was secretary of state. “The Arizona State Legislature could consider modest legislation to prohibit that act of flagging by social media platforms,” John Sauer, the former solicitor general of Missouri, said.

However, the lone Democrat on the three-member panel argued there should be limits to what’s said. Rep. Cesar Aguilar, from Phoenix, said there are cases where the spread of misinformation can lead to dire consequences and cited threats to Arizona election workers. “There has to be some limits drawn here. People are spreading false information, people’s lives are being threatened,” he said.

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