Wednesday, July 1, 2020

N.Y. State Bill to Ban "Hate Speech" from Social Media

By Eugene Volokh - July 01, 2020 at 08:02AM

The bill (S. 7275) was proposed in January by state senator David Carlucci, but I just came across it:

1. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(a) "hate speech" means a public expression, either verbally, in writing or through images, which intentionally makes an insulting statement about a group of persons because of race, ethnicity, nationality, religion or beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity or physical, mental or intellectual disability….

3. (a) The provider of a social media network shall maintain an effective and transparent procedure for handling complaints about hate speech content in accordance with this subdivision….

(b) Such procedure shall ensure that the provider of the social media network:

(i) takes immediate note of the complaint and checks whether the content reported in the complaint is hate speech and subject to removal or whether access to the content must be blocked;

(ii) removes or blocks access to content that is hate speech within twenty-four hours of receiving the complaint; this shall not apply if the social media network has reached agreement with the competent law enforcement authority on a longer period for deleting or blocking any hate speech content;

(iii) removes or blocks access to all hate speech content immediately, this generally being within seven days of receiving the complaint; the seven day time limit may be exceeded if the decision regarding the hatefulness of the content is dependent on the falsity of a factual allegation or is clearly dependent on other factual circumstances; in such cases, the social media network can give the user an opportunity to respond to the complaint before the decision is rendered; and

(iv) immediately notifies the person submitting the complaint and the user about any decision, while also providing reasons for its decision….

5. (a) The attorney general may bring an action against a provider that violates the provisions of this section:

(i) to enjoin further violation of the provisions of this section; and

(ii) to recover up to one million dollars for any violation of this section, including any offense not committed in this state [or up to three million dollars {where the defendant has been found to have engaged in a pattern and practice of violating the provisions of this section}….

As best I can tell, the bill doesn't seem to be going anywhere, but it struck me as noteworthy that Sen. Carlucci submitted it.


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