Arizona Considers Social Media Ban for Government Agencies and Politicians | Your City 2020 Arizona elections

This could no longer be an approved resource Senate Bill 1687 from Scottsdale Republican Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, which prohibits any government agency or elected official in Arizona from using social media for any government purpose. Elected officials can use personal social media accounts, but not official government accounts.

“I think this bill is going to be one of dozens and dozens of bills that will go before the Legislature related to social media,” Ugenti-Rita said Monday before getting the votes needed to pass the bill. law through the Senate Transportation and Technology Committee, The Arizona Republic reported “As we’ve seen platforms gain more power and control, influence and popularity, the question begins to arise: What should be the relationship between an entity? government and a social media platform? “

Ugenti-Rita was annoyed that companies like Twitter banned some users and labeled some comments as offensive, the Republican said.

Some social media companies have labeled false claims about Covid-19 or the 2020 elections, and President Donald Trump’s Twitter account was shut down, “he stated.

Twitter said Trump’s comments on the platform after the deadly riots in the US Capitol on January 6 “were very likely to encourage and inspire people to replicate the criminal acts that took place.”

However, what lawmakers really care about are the many mundane and mundane things that government agencies share with people on social media.

Yuma Democratic Sen. Lisa Otondo cited garbage collection, Covid-19 testing locations and the availability of vaccines. “Social networks are important to make known to government entities,” said Otondo.

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Democratic Sen. Victoria Steele mentioned missing-person alerts from police and wildfire updates from wildfires.

Ugenti-Rita said that someone on Twitter used vulgar names to refer to her and that the company did not mark those messages as offensive, but other comments in response to things she posted about reopening businesses during the pandemic were labeled as potentially offensive.

“There is no guarantee that the government’s message will not be tampered with,” Ugenti-Rita said.

The Arizona Department of Transportation Twitter account, which has 253,000 followers, received high praise from the audience. “If you’ve ever traveled, ADOT is the Twitter account you’ve used,” said Phoenix Democratic Sen. Christine Marsh. “They answer questions on the spot and say where the traffic is.”

Sen. Tyler Pace, a Mesa Republican, who chairs the committee, said ADOT’s effective use of Twitter is what prompted him to hear the bill. He said it frustrates him that people have to use Twitter, where they may be subject to publicity and data privacy concerns, just to get the best traffic information.

The bill passed the committee on a 5-4 vote, with one Democrat in favor and one Republican against. Opposing the bill are 16 cities and communities across the state, including Phoenix, Tucson, Glendale, Florence, Apache Junction and Fountain Hills.

The proposal still needs a vote by the full Senate and House, and then a signature by Governor Doug Ducey. The governor has more than 133,000 followers on Twitter, nearly 89,000 people who like his Facebook page, and 24,000 followers on Instagram.

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