COLUMBUS –State Representative Scott Wiggam (R-Wayne County) presented sponsor testimony to the Ohio House Civil Justice Committee Tuesday on House Bill 441.
The legislation would prohibit Big Tech companies from censoring or discriminating against citizens based on ideological beliefs or viewpoints unless it is in violation of state or federal law.
“Presenting my bill to committee today (Tuesday) takes us one step closer to extending first amendment rights into the 21st century,” said Wiggam. “Social media sites may be private companies but they serve as publicly accessible conduits for speech.”
The bill applies to services or platforms with more than 50 million monthly users and companies that qualify as common carriers, which are barred from discriminating against First Amendment rights.
The legislation would also give users the right to sue for both declaratory and injunctive relief, if they have been subject to viewpoint discrimination.
There are 29 other states that have introduced similar legislation to protect free speech from Big Tech censorship.
The bill, which is also sponsored by Representative Al Cutrona (R-Canfield) and co-sponsored by 33 other legislators, now awaits a second hearing in committee.