In the last week of March 2021, a bill was introduced in the California assembly that would require social media platforms to publicly disclose the specific user conduct that will get users temporarily or permanently banned from those sites—including online hate, disinformation, extremism, harassment, and foreign interference.
AB 587, known as the Social Media Transparency and Accountability Act of 2021, would also require social media companies to submit reports throughout the year to the California Attorney General beginning in July 2022. These reports include biannual updates setting forth the current versions of the terms of service, and specific types of conduct which will violate those terms of service and get a user banned. Additionally, the companies would have to submit a quarterly report disclosing the violations of those terms of service within the last quarter.
The bill has received bipartisan support, with no Assembly members opposing it. It also received support from a number of outside groups. Social media companies are expected to oppose it, as it will require a significant change to their policies, procedures, and disclosure schedules. The bill is expected to be heard in both the Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee and the Assembly Judiciary Committee in the coming weeks.