(Natural News) A group of Republican senators has pushed to amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA). On September 8, Sens. Roger Wicker, Marsha Blackburn and Lindsey Graham introduced The Online Freedom and Viewpoint Diversity Act to make technology companies more accountable for censoring conservative content.
Sen. Blackburn held a virtual discussion on September 11 via Zoom to discuss the bill her group introduced, emphasizing why technology companies should be accountable for censoring conservatives. She added that her group’s bill would make companies consider their reasons for removing certain posts and disclose those reasons. According to Blackburn, the U.S. “has not slapped the hands” of these companies for their censorship of contrary viewpoints.
The senator from Tennessee has had first-hand experiences of being blocked by social media platforms on multiple occasions. In addition, she also mentioned how Twitter had also taken down some of her ads due to “pro-life” language.
A survey by the Pew Research Center conducted in June found that most Americans think social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter censor political viewpoints, especially those leaning towards the right. Ninety percent of the survey’s right-leaning respondents say that social media platforms are blocking political opinions they find objectionable, compared to 59 percent of left-leaning respondents.
Big Tech companies are using Section 230 to rationalize their censorship
In May, President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning technology companies from selectively censoring opinions they disagree with. The president cited Twitter’s allowing of tweets by Rep. Adam Schiff’s mentioning the disproved Russia collusion accusations and Google’s collaboration with the Chinese government to create a search engine blacklisting searches related to human rights as examples of technology companies’ clear biases.
In June, Republican Sens. Marco Rubio, Josh Hawley, Kelly Loeffler and Kevin Cramer wrote an open letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to “take a fresh look at Section 230” of the CDA and “clearly define” the framework under which technology firms receive protections under the section. The senators remarked that while technology companies enjoy protections under Section 230, these “are not absolute or unconditional.”
Also in June. Sen. Josh Hawley introduced a bill that enables Americans to sue major technology companies if they selectively censor political content on their platforms.
The Limiting Section 230 Immunity to Good Samaritans Act removes the immunity companies receive under the section – unless they update their terms of service to promise to operate in good faith by not implementing selective enforcement of censorship-related rules. The bill would also allow users to sue companies for breaching the contractual “good faith” duty: Plaintiffs who win any case against them are awarded $5,000 and legal fees.
In a statement, Hawley lamented how technology companies such as Twitter, Facebook and Google have silenced political conservatives for too long, and how the courts have stretched and rewritten Section 230 to give companies “outlandish power over speech without accountability.”
The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees absolute freedom of speech for all. However, Big Tech’s censoring of conservative websites under the guise of “necessary public service” stops the free flow of ideas and stifles discourse.
Worse are the double standards technology companies follow when it comes to implementing censorship rules.
Facebook turns a blind eye on Antifa content being posted on its site, yet quickly takes down posts showing the importance of self-defense. Twitter bans conservative figures such as Laura Loomer, yet ignores mass shooters who post threats towards politicians on the platform. Google puts conservative websites on its blacklist, yet removes search results about Black Lives Matter domestic terrorists.
Find out more news about Big Tech’s censorship of conservative sources at Censorship.news.