TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Laura Loomer has been banned from Facebook, Twitter and Uber for violating hate-speech policies, but she found a platform to express her views in the Florida Capitol on Tuesday.
The far-right provocateur and South Florida congressional candidate spoke at a news conference organized by Florida GOP chairman and state Sen. Joe Gruters, telling reporters that she thinks hate speech is a "manufactured term" used to target conservatives.
Gruters is sponsoring a bill that seeks to eliminate what he considers to be a liberal political bias held by the leaders of Twitter, Facebook and other large social media companies.
"I am proud to have Laura Loomer stand with me here today because what we are here discussing is social media censorship, and we are trying to stop the bias," he said during the news conference outside the Senate's chambers.
Gruters said his bill (SB 1266) isn't partisan but is intended to allow people of all opinions to speak freely in the "digital public square." It would make social media companies with more than 75 million subscribers liable for damages if they delete or censor a user's "religious speech or political speech" or if they use algorithms to favor or disfavor certain religious or political views.
Loomer, 26, describes herself as the "most banned" and censored woman in the world. She is running for the congressional seat held by U.S. Rep Lois Frankel, a West Palm Beach Democrat.
Uber and Lyft banned Loomer after she called for the creation of a ride-sharing app that doesn't employ Muslims. Twitter kicked Loomer off its platform for anti-Muslim tweets directed at U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, a Somali refugee who is one of two Muslim women elected to Congress.
During the news conference, Loomer said she is being targeted because of her political views. In November 2018, she chained herself to a door at Twitter's New York City headquarters in protest. She also has filed a lawsuit against Facebook that seeks more than $3 billion in damages.
"Tech giants use hate speech as a term and a reason to ban individuals who they disagree with, but in reality, there is no such thing as hate speech," Loomer said. "There are certainly hate crimes, and there always have been hate crimes throughout human history. But the term hate speech is a new and manufactured term that is designed to silence conservatives and political dissidents."
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