Bill Addressing Social Media Censorship In Tennessee Deferred While Sponsor Works On Funding

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The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –

Representative Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro-District 36) requested that a bill addressing social media censorship be deferred after it was scheduled to be heard in the House Business & Utilities Subcommittee on Tuesday.

The Chair of the subcommittee, Representative Clark Boyd, said that because the bill was being deferred for the third time, that it would now go to “special calendar.”


Powers has communicated to The Tennessee Conservative that the bill is rolled until final calendar so that getting the bill funded and the fiscal note for the bill reduced can be worked out.

Powers has said before that while the fiscal note has been estimated to be around $100,000, the legislation would likely generate enough revenue through fees to essential pay for itself.

At this time, there is no word on when the final calendar will be issued but Powers estimates that it will be 4 to 5 weeks away.


House Bill 0682 (HB0682) is sponsored by Powers in the House, with Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixson-District 11) sponsoring its companion, Senate Bill 0111 (SB0111).

The pair of bills designate social media platforms as “common carriers” which would require them to obtain certificates of public convenience and necessity from the Tennessee public utilities commission.

Platforms found shadow banning users based on political viewpoints or ideology or found discriminating against users based on race, creed, color, sex, age, or national origin, could be fined under the proposed legislation.

Powers has said that social media is the “town square” of our time and that social media companies, just like phone companies or hotel chains, should not be allowed to discriminate against those who hold different political viewpoints.

“Conservatives have long been censored by Big Tech and now more evidence has become apparent when companies have admitted working in conjunction with government organizations to censor information that may hurt political candidates in elections,” said Powers to The Tennessee Conservative last year.

“This is a problem that Congress needs to solve because it has interstate commerce implications, but although they talk about revising Section 230, nothing has been done, so the states have to address the issue,” Powers said, “Our solution will not prevent the issue, but it will give the victims cause for action and will hopefully, make Big Tech think twice before censoring Conservatives and also show Congress that it needs to step in and fight for our First Amendment Rights.”

The bill was rolled last March Powers said due to some amendments being needed because of some “unintended consequences” that would affect some companies and industries that are not the target of the bill. There was not sufficient time at the end of the 2023 general session to address the issues that some companies said would affect their day-to-day operations.

About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. 

You can reach Paula at

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