The bills that will be heard tomorrow in the Energy, Technology, and Federal Relations Committee stand poised to end social media censorship in America. If the bill is let out of committee and passed through the legislature, other states will follow Montana’s lead and provide a buffer between their constituents and the Big Tech overlords that seek to control our words and – by extension – our thoughts.
Sponsored by Lola Sheldon-Galloway, HB587 and HB597 are vitally important to ensuring that Monantans can speak freely, rather than facing punitive consequences by Big Tech firms that constantly change their “community guidelines” to expel conservatives from the Marketplace of Ideas.
HB587 (linked here) will allow social media consumers to sue Big Tech companies for censorship if they can demonstrate tangible monetary damages because of the censorship. The bill is very similar to one proposed in North Dakota, except the language is stronger; as currently written, the bill will not hold consumers responsible for endless terms-of-service updates, but instead the terms of service in place when they first agreed to become a consumer.
HB597 (linked here) clarifies that Big Tech media companies are indeed “communications utilities.” Under current Montana Law, they may be regulated by the Public Service Commission, the most conservative department of Montana state government. What the legislature will accomplish in this bill is recognizing entities like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other similar platforms act as utilities by enjoying immunity given to utilities under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. If this passes, the state will be able to regulate these industries with the needs and interests of citizens taken into consideration.
The Energy, Technology, and Federal Relations Committee will hear the bills at 3PM tomorrow afternoon at room 472 in the state capitol. While it is best to attend in person to testify, you may testify via Zoom by clicking this link. Note: YOU MUST REGISTER TO ZOOM BEFOREHAND.
You can also contact these legislators and ask them to pass the bill through committee:
Skees, Derek (R) ‑ Chair
Zolnikov, Katie (R) ‑ Vice Chair
Hayman, Denise (D) ‑ Vice Chair
Binkley, Michele (R)
Brewster, Larry (R)
Custer, Geraldine (R)
Duram, Neil (R)
Kassmier, Joshua (R)
Kortum, Kelly (D)
Olsen, Andrea (D)
Phalen, Bob (R)
Sullivan, Katie (D)
You can find their contact info by searching here.