Oklahoma State Senator introduces social media bill to stop what he says is ‘selective censorship’ online

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma Republican State Sen. Rob Standridge, District 15, proposed the social media bill Friday for the upcoming session and said he wants it to give citizens an opportunity to civil recourse if they feel they’ve been “selectively silenced.”

“Censorship, to me, if it’s going to happen it should happen across the board for everybody,” he said.

The bill states users would be able to sue for a minimum of $75,000 per intentional deletion or censoring of that user’s speech “along with actual damages and punitive damages if aggravating factors are present. The prevailing party may also be awarded costs and reasonable attorney fees.”

Standridge said he feels only Conservative viewpoints are being censored.

“Essentially being told they must be good Germans, I mean good Americans,” Standridge said. “So, it’s something we should all be concerned about.”

Standridge also claimed that private social media companies are “purging of all thought from social media” in a Facebook post that you can see below.

In the post he compared what’s taking place to the control of information and thought by the Nazi German government.

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Facebook post from State Sen. Rob Standridge

“It’s a bit of a propaganda operation seems to be going on,” he said. “You have a responsibility when you have a monopoly like that and when you abuse it to silence a certain segment of the population, I think there should be recourse.”

The bill was introduced after the suspension of Donald Trump’s Twitter account, among other platform accounts, something Standridge said he is against. It’s also introduced amid constant fact checking or “flagging” on multiple platforms of posts dealing with debunked claims of widespread voter, election fraud and the incitement of violence after a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol.

“I would pose questions about the election and there were thousands of signed sworn affidavits,” he said. “I think it’s worth questioning and I don’t think you should be silenced, or fact checked about that.”

According to Standridge, along with President Donald Trump, Section 230 should be no more. The law that gives social media companies legal immunity from content posted on their site.

“You have to treat everybody the same, that’s why they got liability protection,” Standridge said.

He added that he wants this to stop a double standard when it comes to what he calls “selective censorship.”

“I think you just have a set of rules that are applied equally across the board,” he said.

Standridge used an example of his claims of a double standard on social media, that being a tweet from Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in June that you can see below.

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Tweet from Vice President-elect Kamala Harris

Standridge said it called for donations to let rioters and looters out of jail by bailing them out. A fact-check and details on this Twitter post can be found in this Washington Post article.

The Oklahoma legislature convenes on Feb. 1 for this legislative session.

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