Computer & Communication Industry Association
PublishedApril 2, 2024

CCIA Raises Objections to Minnesota’s SF 4696 Over Freedom of Speech Concerns

Washington – The Computer & Communications Industry Association provided written comments in opposition to Minnesota’s SF 4696 in response to today’s hearing before the Senate Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection, citing concerns that the bill infringes on freedom of speech by attempting to regulate digital services’ editorial discretion through the use of algorithms and imposing engagement limits. 

CCIA has serious concerns regarding SF 4696, which it believes would violate fundamental First Amendment rights. Among many requirements and restrictions within its provisions, the measure would reshape how social media platforms utilize algorithms to filter user-generated content, including dangerous content. 

Algorithms strategically prioritize content to empower users to discover information personalized to their particular interests. Prohibiting personalization would hinder users’ ability to access information that is relevant to them while imposing daily engagement limits threatens to prevent Minnesotans from accessing critical information online. Further, the sweeping language of the legislation raises serious doubts about whether SF 4696’s intended goals could be effectively achieved. 

The following may be attributed to CCIA State Policy Manager Jordan Rodell:

“CCIA’s members have been leading the effort to implement settings and tools that tailor individuals’ online experiences, especially to safeguard younger users. Legislators must strike a balance that preserves Minnesotans’ access to online information while also respecting the rights of private companies to exercise editorial discretion. Minnesota lawmakers must recognize that SF 4696 not only undermines access to essential online communities and valuable content, but also encroaches upon the constitutional rights protected by the First Amendment.”