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Author Topic: Senator Hawley Plans to Strip Big Tech of Legal Immunity  (Read 1657 times)

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Senator Hawley Plans to Strip Big Tech of Legal Immunity
« on: June 21, 2019, 06:20:23 AM »
U.S. Senator Josh Hawley is taking Silicon Valley to task with new legislation to hold social media platforms like Facebook, Google, and Twitter accountable for their political bias by stripping them of existing Section 230 protections.

“With Section 230, tech companies get a sweetheart deal that no other industry enjoys: complete exemption from traditional publisher liability in exchange for providing a forum free of political censorship.”

The introduction of a new bill follows widespread allegations and evidence that social media platforms treat conservatives and Trump supporters with contempt. The Missouri Republican wants tech companies to demonstrate they are politically neutral in their moderation of user content or be subject to lawsuits they are currently immune to.

The bill he proposes will strip companies of legal immunity for user-generated content provided under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act unless they can prove their moderation practices are not politically motivated.

“There’s a growing list of evidence that shows big tech companies making editorial decisions to censor viewpoints they disagree with,” he added.

“Even worse, the entire process is shrouded in secrecy because these companies refuse to make their protocols public. This legislation simply states that if the tech giants want to keep their government-granted immunity, they must bring transparency and accountability to their editorial processes and prove that they don’t discriminate.”

The Communications Decency Act currently protects tech companies from liability for illegal content posted on their platforms. It was created during the nascent stages of the Internet to protect their growth and allow the proliferation of free speech online.

The Internet has long passed its infancy. Tech companies that enjoyed this government subsidy now possess the resources to moderate content. It’s clear platforms like Facebook and Twitter no longer need these protections and are instead abusing the carve out to protect themselves from liability for their political practices.

“Something is happening with those groups of folks that are running Facebook, Google and Twitter,” said President Donald Trump in March. “I do think we have to get to the bottom of it … It’s collusive and it’s very, very fair to say that we have to do something about it.”
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