Rep. Cason Files Bill to Protect Free Speech on Social Media

March 10, 2021
Rep. Cason Files Bill to Protect Free Speech on Social Media

AUSTIN, TEXAS – Representative Jeff Cason announced today his filing of House Bill 3001, the Protect Free Speech on Social Media Act. This bill would permit an adult to seek civil action against a social media website that purposefully deletes or censors the user’s political or religious speech, or uses an algorithm to disfavor or censor the user’s political or religious speech.

“The past year has seen an unprecedented amount of censorship by social media companies throughout the United States,” Rep. Cason said. “Although a company has the right to censor speech they choose by virtue of being a private entity, often these companies go far beyond what a typical user would understand in the agreed upon Terms of Service.”

A claimant who prevails in an action under this law may recover exemplary damages of $75,000 per purposeful action, regardless of whether actual damages are awarded.  Claimants are also eligible for actual damages, other forms of equitable relief, court costs, and reasonable attorney’s fees.

House Bill 3001 does not apply to:

  • a social media website that deletes or censors a social media website user’s speech or that uses an algorithm to disfavor or censor speech that calls for immediate acts of violence, is obscene or pornographic in nature, is the result of operational error, is ordered by a court, comes from an inauthentic source, involves false personation, entices criminal conduct, or involves a minor bullying another minor; or
  • a social media website user censoring another social media website user’s speech.

Cason’s HB 3001 is similar to HB 33 filed in the Florida House of Representative by Florida State Rep. Anthony Sabatini.