Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) announced Wednesday that they have drafted legislation to strip Big Tech companies from the protections offered them in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
“The ‘discussion draft’ legislation, penned by McMorris Rodgers, the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Jordan, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, exclusively obtained by Fox News, would prevent Big Tech companies from using Section 230 liability protections to ‘silence conservatives,’” according to Fox Business.
“The bill would amend Section 230 of the Communications Act to provide that immunity does not apply to ‘certain companies’ and would require internet platform companies to ‘implement and maintain reasonable and user-friendly appeals processes for decisions about content on the platforms,’” the outlet continued.
Section 230 stipulates that “no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”
McMorris Rodgers told Fox that “Big Tech can no longer be allowed to hide behind Section 230.” She said their drafted bill, which has yet to receive a formal introduction date, is a “solution to remove Big Tech altogether from Section 230 and put them under new obligations that will hold them more accountable for censoring Americans.”
“It’s time to expose Big Tech’s bias and make sure they treat constitutionally protected speech fairly,” she added.
Jordan claimed Big Tech is “out to get conservatives,” and said that the legislation he helped to draft “builds upon previous work by our conference to undo the legal immunity that Big Tech hides behind to evade accountability.”
“We want to hear from our colleagues about how we can move forward together to finally stop the censoring of conservative voices on the internet,” Jordan added.
Before he was banned from Twitter, former President Donald Trump stressed the need for a repeal of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects social media companies such as Twitter from being treated as publishers. Section 230 states:
No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.
The term “otherwise objectionable” has given license to sites such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter to censor material they find “otherwise objectionable.” This is critical because it means that if those two words were removed from the Code, those sites could theoretically be open to legal liability for removal of content for political reasons.