HARRISBURG – Senator Doug Mastriano (PA-33) and Senator Scott Hutchinson (PA-21) have introduced legislation to hold social media companies accountable for censoring or banning users who express their religious or political beliefs. The Social Media Accountability Act (Senate Bill 604) creates a private right of action that allows citizens of Pennsylvania to sue social media companies including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. A censored user who sues under the bill can seek $75,000 in statutory damages, attorneys’ fees and other forms of relief. Social media websites can still censor for common-sense reasons such as accounts that are falsely impersonating someone or speech that calls for immediate acts of violence. The legislation will also mandate that social media companies inform their users why their accounts were banned or disabled within 30 days and require those companies to offer recourse to users to restore their account. The bill has been referred to the Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure Committee where it now awaits a vote.