Many of the bills use very similar language, referencing “unfair trade practices” and “censorship.” Several bills would require social media platforms to warn users of their specific electronic speech transgressions and give violators a grace period to clean up whatever part of their act that would see them banned. Some bills empower the banned to file consumer complaints with state attorneys general or, like Texas’ SB 2373, to file suit.
Sometimes stories of extreme attempts at censorship like those in Missouri and Florida seem ridiculous, appalling, or impossible, but as someone who reads the news frequently, I can attest that they happen with alarming frequency. If you can take the time to take one small step, we can all work together to take small steps toward increased intellectual freedom.
In 1988, a Supreme Court case stripped student journalists of their First Amendment rights. Now, three decades later, students are standing up and bringing new bills like the Cronkite New Voices Act to the courts.
ALA’s 2017 Midwinter Meeting is in Atlanta, GA and the Office for Intellectual Freedom will be there staffing the different committee meetings and programs. Committee meetings and programs are open to any attendee, and are often a good way to learn about the business of ALA and its intellectual freedom initiatives.
October 7, 2016: Student’s right to protest. Banning Books in Texas Prisons. Tennessee Parent challenging Islam in the curriculum. And SO MUCH MORE