Maryland legislation would censor marginalized communities online
As Maryland lawmakers prepare today for a hearing on social media legislation, a coalition of LGBTQ+ and tech organizations are pushing back on their proposed bill. In a letter sent this week, the coalition urges Maryland legislators to consider how SB 571 / HB 603 would isolate and censor marginalized youth, including members of the LGBTQ community. Members of the coalition include Chamber of Progress, the Trevor Project, LGBT Tech, the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, and the Maryland LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce.
“Maryland’s social media bill will lead to over-moderation of LGBTQ-friendly online spaces that allow teens to participate in conversations about gender identity and sexuality,” said Chamber of Progress Director of Tech Policy Todd O’Boyle. “We’ve seen bills like this pass in far-right states that regularly target LGBTQ people, but Democrats in Maryland should know better than to isolate marginalized online communities with poorly-defined, poorly-crafted legislation.”
On Tuesday, February 13, the Maryland Assembly Committee on Economic Matters will host a hearing on HB 603 before considering whether to move forward with the bill.
Similar bills have faced constitutional challenges nationwide, including the California Age Appropriate Design Code, which has been put on hold pending legal review.
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