•  Summary 
  •  Actions 
  •  Committee Votes 
  •  Floor Votes 
  •  Memo 
  •  Text 
  •  LFIN 
  •  Chamber Video/Transcript 

S09014 Summary:

Establishes the internet media freedom task force to study the practices and policies of social media companies that allow the posting of third-party content by users, as well as other issues relating to dissemination of such content, including but not limited to, forms of censorship employed by social media companies.
Go to top

S09014 Memo:

Memo not available
Go to top

S09014 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                    IN SENATE
                                   September 30, 2020
        Introduced  by  Sen.  ORTT  --  read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules
        AN ACT to establish the internet media freedom task force; and providing
          for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section  1. Legislative Findings. The twenty-first century has seen an
     2  increasing reliance upon social media as a source of news  and  informa-
     3  tion.  Social media platforms allow third-party users to post content on
     4  an unlimited number of issues, and,  unfortunately,  though  not  solely
     5  designed  or  intended  for  such use, more and more people have come to
     6  rely on these third-party postings as their main source  of  news.  Some
     7  social  media platforms have recently taken it upon themselves to act as
     8  arbiters of truth, and have even gone so far as to block access  to  the
     9  President of the United States. Given the expanding use of, and reliance
    10  on,  these  social media platforms as a source of news, it is imperative
    11  that use of such platforms be open and  maintained  for  all  people  to
    12  ensure  that no perspective or piece of information is barred or blocked
    13  from view by the public at large who has come to rely on such  platforms
    14  for information.
    15    §  2.  Legislative task force on internet media freedom. A legislative
    16  task force on internet media freedom is hereby established to study  the
    17  practices  and policies of social media companies that allow the posting
    18  of third-party content by users, as well as  other  issues  relating  to
    19  dissemination  of  such  content, including but not limited to, forms of
    20  censorship employed by social media companies. The task force will  also
    21  examine  the impact social media has on elections, including the ability
    22  of candidates and political parties to access and use the  platform  and
    23  the use of censorship to unfairly benefit one candidate over another.
    24    § 3. Composition. (a) The task force shall consist of eight members to
    25  be  appointed  as  follows:  two members appointed by the speaker of the
    26  Assembly, two members  appointed  by  the  temporary  president  of  the
    27  Senate,  two  members  appointed by the minority leader of the Assembly,
    28  and two members appointed by the minority  leader  of  the  Senate.  All
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        S. 9014                             2
     1  appointments made by legislative leaders to the task force shall, to the
     2  extent  practicable,  have  backgrounds  in  news  publishing, including
     3  online media publishing, and/or the study of law.
     4    (b) Members of the task force shall serve without compensation.
     5    (c) The members of the task force shall elect, by a majority vote, one
     6  of its appointed members to serve as a chair.
     7    § 4. Organization. (a) The task force shall meet for the first time on
     8  May  first,  two  thousand  twenty-one, at which time they shall elect a
     9  member to serve as a chair of the task force pursuant to subdivision (c)
    10  of section three of this act.
    11    (b) The first meeting of the task force shall be  held  in  the  State
    12  Capitol,  in  offices  made  available  to  it  by  the Legislature. The
    13  location of subsequent meetings shall be at the discretion of the  chair
    14  of the task force.
    15    (c)  The  task force shall create and maintain a website that provides
    16  access to written submissions received by it, as well as means by  which
    17  individuals can submit testimony and view live and archived meetings and
    18  hearings of the task force.
    19    § 5. Hearings. The task force shall be authorized to hold public hear-
    20  ings  and  meetings,  and  to consult with any organization, educational
    21  institution, or other government entity  or  person,  to  enable  it  to
    22  accomplish  its  duties.  The  task force shall hold at least two public
    23  hearings for the purpose of soliciting public comment.
    24    § 6. Duties and powers. (a) To effectuate the purposes  of  this  act,
    25  the  task force may request and shall receive from any department, divi-
    26  sion, board, bureau, commission or other agency  of  the  state  or  any
    27  state  public  authority  such  assistance, information and data as will
    28  enable the task force to properly carry out its powers and duties.
    29    (b) The task force may hire any  necessary  staff  to  assist  in  the
    30  discharge  of  its  duties, and may utilize funds appropriated to it for
    31  necessary expenses related to the discharge of its duties.
    32    (c) The task force shall undertake an examination  of  existing  state
    33  and  federal  policies relating to publishing third-party content on the
    34  internet, including, but not limited to:
    35    (i) use of social media platforms, including, but not limited to,  who
    36  uses  them,  for  what  purposes are they used, and a review of usage in
    37  past political campaigns;
    38    (ii) safeguards that exist to ensure accuracy  of  information  posted
    39  online;
    40    (iii) use of censorship to restrict publication of third-party created
    41  content online;
    42    (iv)  statutory  protections  that currently exist to ensure access to
    43  social media platforms; and
    44    (v) liability shields that protect platform operators.
    45    § 7. Report. The task force shall draft a final report  detailing  its
    46  findings,  as  well as any recommendations it has on changes to state or
    47  federal law, and to executive agency policies, actions,  and  procedures
    48  relating  to the use of and access to social media. Such report shall be
    49  completed and delivered to the Governor, the speaker  of  the  Assembly,
    50  the temporary president of the Senate, the minority leader of the Assem-
    51  bly,  the minority leader of the Senate, and each member of the New York
    52  State Congressional Delegation on  or  before  December  31,  2021.  The
    53  report  shall also be made publicly available and posted on the websites
    54  of the State Assembly and Senate.
    55    § 8. Dissolution. Upon completion of a final report  and  delivery  as
    56  directed  by  this  act,  the legislative task force shall be dissolved;

        S. 9014                             3

     1  provided, however, that dissolution of this task force shall occur on or
     2  before January 1, 2022.
     3    §  9.  This  act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be
     4  deemed repealed January 1, 2022.
Go to top