No more ADOT updates on Twitter? Arizona considers social media ban for government agencies, politicians

By Ryan Randazzo | Arizona Republic

Arizona drivers heading out of town for the weekend wouldn’t find road closures on Twitter.

Parents curious about teacher conferences couldn’t get updates on Facebook.

Voters couldn’t see updates from their city council representatives on Instagram.

All of these actions and more would be prohibited under a bill that passed an initial hurdle at the Arizona Legislature this week, as some lawmakers seek ways to crack down on social media companies that they say have gained too much influence.

Senate Bill 1687 from Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, R-Scottsdale, is simple. It prohibits any government agency or elected official in Arizona from using social media for any government purpose. Elected officials could use personal social-media accounts, but not official government accounts.

“I think this bill is going to be one of dozens and dozens of bills coming before the Legislature dealing with social media,” Ugenti-Rita said Monday before securing the needed votes to pass the bill through the Senate Transportation and Technology Committee.

“As we’ve seen platforms gain more power and control, influence and popularity, it starts to beg the question: What should the relationship be between a government entity and a social-media platform?”


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February 2021