FROM OUR APRIL 2021 PRINTED EDITION
by Cynthia Hansen
Easter is the time when Christians observe the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As well, during this time of year, the secular world observes Easter by way of Easter baskets filled with colored eggs, shredded up green plastic, mountains of candy, and yellow marshmallow chicks or bunnies that are called peeps.
The dictionary’s definition of peep is to utter a sound.
I am using “Not a Peep” to describe the state of the media on the Western Slope of Colorado.
Nary have I heard a peep from a single Western Slope Colorado media outlet concerning Colorado Sen. Kerry Donovan’s bill SB21-132 attacking free speech.
SB21-132 is titled “Digital Communications Regulation” and here is the link to the aforementioned bill located at the Colorado General Assembly’s website: https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb21-132.
In an article written by Vincent Carroll, columnist for the Denver Post, in the March 10, 2021 issue, Mr. Carroll issues a declaration that is unsurpassed in truth.
He states, “I don’t recall ever seeing such a bold, comprehensive attempt at government speech control as the project outlined in Senate Bill 132 by Democratic Sen. Kerry Donovan of Vail to regulate digital communications.”
To give you a heads-up on SB 132 and Mr. Carroll’s statement, I have included a few sections of the bill’s language below:
Regulation – SB21-132
The bill creates the digital communications division (division) and the digital communications commission (commission) within the department of regulatory agencies. On an annual basis and for a reasonable fee determined by the commission, the division shall register digital communications platforms, which are certain communications-oriented online businesses, such as social media platforms or media-sharing platforms, that conduct business in Colorado or own or operate services that are offered to Colorado residents. A digital communications platform that fails to register with the division commits a class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 for each day that the violation continues.
The division shall investigate and the commission may hold hearings on claims filed with the division alleging that a digital communications platform has allowed a person to engage in one or more unfair or discriminatory digital communications practices on the platform, which practices:
Include practices that promote hate speech; undermine election integrity; disseminate intentional disinformation, conspiracy theories, or fake news; or authorize, encourage, or carry out violations of users’ privacy; and
May include business, political, or social practices that are conducted in a manner that a person aggrieved by the practices can demonstrate are unfair or discriminatory to the aggrieved person. Such practices, if done in an unfair or discriminatory manner, might include:
Practices that target users for purposes of collecting and disseminating users’ personal data, including users’ sensitive data;
Profiling users based on their personal data collected;
Selling or authorizing others to use users’ personal data to provide location-based advertising or targeted advertising; or
Using facial recognition software and other tracking technology.
If a person who files a complaint with the division exhausts all administrative remedies and proceedings, the person may file a civil action in district court alleging an unfair or discriminatory digital communications practice.
Will we hear a peep, or will it be a “non peep” from the Western Slope media concerning SB 132?