Law Week Colorado takes a deep dive on Donovan’s social media bill

Law Week Colorado is an underrated member of the local media team, especially when it covers the General Assembly. This week the  20-year old Denver publication gave a good hard look at Sen. Kerry Donovan’s bill that aims to regulate social media platforms.

The piece leans on analysis from media law guru Steve Zansberg,  DU’s Derigan Silver, and a tech law expert at CU in a discussion about, well, how far over the constitutional line Donovan’s bill – SB 132 – might be. It also gets into a pretty good examination about the underlying issues, like people’s susceptibility to disinformation.

Law Week Colorado is still mostly a print publication, so this particular article is not online (though the outlet’s website has a teaser for it). If you can pick up a copy of the March 22 edition, it’s a good read.

2 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. kwtree says:

    Enough teasing- what in Donovan’s bill do you, or the writers at Law Week, think is unconstitutional? 

  2. JohnInDenver says:

    The Law Week item online is here

    Vincent Carroll is not a fan, according to his Denver Post column.

    Although the bill makes no attempt to define hate speech, fake news or disinformation, it explicitly foresees government suppressing speech it doesn’t like. Upon detecting an “unfair or discriminatory digital communications practice,” the commission would issue an “order requiring the respondent to cease and desist from the practice and to take action that the commission orders.”

    TechDirt has a few objections, too.

    Over in Colorado, Colorado Senate president pro tempore Kerry Donovan would seek to force companies to moderate "hate speech," "fake news," and "conspiracy theories."

    The full bill is really, really bad. Websites would need to register (for a fee) with a "digital communications commission" in Colorado, and that Commission would accept complaints against social media websites if they were used for hate speech, undermining election integrity, disseminating intentional disinformation, conspiracy theories, or fake news. There's a big problem with this: most of that is protected under the 1st Amendment. I know that many people don't like that those things are protected speech, but you actually should like it. Because if "fake news" or "undermining election integrity" was not protected under the 1st Amendment, just imagine how the Trump administration would have abused both things.

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