Will Legislators Act To Safeguard Our Elections From Social Media Censorship In TN?

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The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –

As we head toward the 2022 midterms, many Conservative and Republican voices have been banned from social media – including our likely presidential candidate in 2024.

This means Tennesseans will NOT be able to hear our candidate’s side of the story on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; among others.

Congressional candidates are already being banned by Big Tech and it stands to reason that State Senators and Representatives will be next to get the boot.

Years ago, Tennessee state campaigns were run in direct mail, local radio, canvassing and some selected TV placements. Today, social media targeting is the #1 or #2 expenditure of savvy state and local campaigns.

With these facts in mind, The Tennessee Conservative reached out to all of Tennessee’s State Senators and Representatives posing the question: “Do you or any other state reps or senators plan to propose legislation similar to that of Florida to safeguard our elections from social media censorship and the harm it will cause our Republican Party at the federal and state level?”

On the House side, several Representatives replied that they would support such legislation and some have even drafted legislation to this effect.

Representative John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge) states that he has drafted a bill to attempt a solution for this potential problem.

However, he said,I have not yet filed the bill as I am still canvassing my colleagues for suggestions on possible additions as well as support.  Additionally, I am trying to determine if others have also created their own bills so as not to waste effort and time.”

Representative Bruce Griffey (R-Paris) stated that he had drafted legislation in the past to prohibit social media censorship and that he will support any such efforts in this General Session.

Griffey also cited a law recently passed in Texas that is similar to Florida-law that addresses the issue by classifying social media companies as “common carriers.” 

“This approach seems the most logical and Justice Thomas has indicated as much,” Griffey said.

Representative Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro) replied by citing the current state of the Florida bill that was filed last year.  

He states that the bill is now being appealed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.  

After the injunction, a lawsuit was filed by two trade groups: NetChoice and the Computer and Communications Industry, both representing the Big Tech companies of Facebook, Twitter, Google and Amazon.  

“We will continue to monitor the progress of these and continue to fight against any type of political censorship in the TN House of Representatives,” Powers said.

Representative Dan Howell (R-Cleveland) stated that he would show support for a bill like the one introduced in Florida.

Howell also added a note that he has already experienced social media censorship on Facebook when trying to run political ads.  

“I have been unsuccessful in getting ‘verified’ to run paid political ads on Facebook. I have contracted with professional social media experts to assist me in this effort. So far, no success. However, I was successful in getting ‘verified’ on Twitter,” Howell said.

The legislative assistant of Representative John Crawford (R-Bristol/Kingsport) told the Tennessee Conservative that they do not have their list of legislation introduced yet and that we should check back after the bill filing deadline in February for a comprehensive list of all the bills introduced in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Senate members that replied overall acknowledged a need for such legislation and voiced some support, but none stated they would be introducing new bills to that effect.

Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixson) told us that he knows some general information surrounding the Florida law, but would like to “take a little deeper look” before voicing support of a similar bill.

“Obviously, I do not/would not be supportive of any censorship of candidates like you describe. I don’t know who in the Tennessee General Assembly may be bringing similar legislation so give me some time to research this,” Watson said.

Senator Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield) told us that he would support social media legislation but would not work on it.

Senator Shane Reeves (R- Bedford, Lincoln, Marshall, Moore and parts of Rutherford County) said, “If we do not do something about this, our presidential candidate will be crippled in the race – and they are already moving down-ballot (not to mention the effect it has on content censorship, with is equivalent in many cases to candidate censorship).”

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally said, “While the rights of private business should always be protected, certain Big Tech corporations have acted in bad faith by discriminating against conservatives. The First Amendment only protects citizens from government action but that does not mean that these companies should be able to declare open season on conservatives. 

Many social media platforms have become monopolistic in nature and operate as the defacto public square for our democracy, for better or worse. While there are limits to what state governments can do to combat multinational corporations that cross state lines, we are looking into the issue. Speaker Sexton and I appointed an ad hoc committee on data privacy that looked at issues related to Big Tech this fall. We will continue to monitor the situation and protect consumers and conservatives where we can,” McNally concluded.

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Brandon Lewis, founder of The Tennessee Conservative believes that legislators should be proactive in their approach and not wait until after Big Tech has already locked down the situation, which would then take costly lawsuits to remedy.

“Republicans often wait until the harm is done before we take action. In this case, it is plain to see significant harm will come in 2024 if not before. Now, I feel, is the time to proactively get out in front of this,” Lewis said.

Fans and Followers of The Tennessee Conservative on Social Media agree that laws need to be put in place to stop social media censorship.

Cheryl Kinsey Adams states, “Put in policies that stop censorship. Once these companies start censoring material they are acting as publishers and should be fined. You can’t censor and have an open forum. Stop the double standards. Hit them in the wallet and shut them down if they continue censoring political content!”

Wendy Taft says, “I don’t pretend to know the answer, but with all the influx of people moving here during the pandemic from heavily democratic areas, I hope the republicans address election interference before it affects this state.”

Jim Breunig states, “Pass laws similar to Florida fining social media companies for partisan censorship.”

Others suggest that the mainstream social media outlets should be avoided.

Vickie Parker said, “Join the new social media sites like Rumble and Gettr and say what you want. Oh, and VOTE. Our votes can seat a congress that is not afraid to stand up to these bullies and put them in their place.”

Karen Roe stated, “I agree with grassroots. Everyone needs to get involved. Election workers and Poll watchers. Get involved with your local party meetings. Start looking at your Reps, e-mail them about your issues and expect responses. Maybe look for alternative media sources such as Tennessee Conservative. GETTR instead of Twitter. Wimkin instead of FB. We really need to understand what is in the agenda for the General Assembly.


Many offered specific suggestions that Tennessee should consider for its social media legislation.

Wild Bill states that the media should be held to the original standards of being truthful and unbiased.  “If they can’t handle that, shut them down,” he said.

Ronbo Threesixteen states that, “first and foremost is to take away their protection from being sued.”

Others voiced their concerns that Tennessee’s current lineup in the Republican supermajority will not act to curb censorship.

Robert Stafford stated, “We need to Clean house. Get rid of all career RINOs and get rid of lobbying. We the people must stop supporting msm, big corp, big tech, big pharma. But it won’t happen. Too many on the right are not willing to do what it takes. Not willing to think and act for themselves. They just want to live their fat lives and feel good about their accomplishments in life while others watch over them.”

Maggie Varner said, “Can you imagine if we all stuck together? I am talking from the top down! Republicans in office have conceded so many times!  We need strong Republicans in Office!

If you would like to contact your Tennessee legislators about social media censorship or any other issues, you can find them HERE.


About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative  ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career.  Most recently, he served as Deputy Directory for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others.  He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History.  Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com

3 thoughts on “Will Legislators Act To Safeguard Our Elections From Social Media Censorship In TN?

  • January 12, 2022 at 9:31 pm

    They had better act if America ever hopes to ever have a Fair election!! Slap a few Billion $$$ fines on their doorstep if the Law is broken due to their Censorship.

  • January 12, 2022 at 10:49 pm

    Fair and free elections are over till we have a war

  • January 12, 2022 at 11:44 pm

    Republicans have to up on the live and let live policy’s we’ve followed for many years. We have to get pro-active, as another responder notes and take the fight to them. Actually I favor state candidates stumping by letter or face time. That way if they fail to live up to what they’ve written, it’s grounds for recall. On a National level Governors must hold federal feet to the Constitution fire and refuse to obey any laws Biden and the Bumblers throw out that are in direct conflict with our Constitution. Photo ID, no ballot harvesting and strict use of cameras over ballot areas will not totally cure the illegal voting but it will put a big dent in it. “Social Media” sites that ban any party should be fined heavily.


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