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BY: Charles Fain Lehman
Sen. Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) floated a new proposal Tuesday to compel large tech companies to be politically neutral in their content moderation or risk legal liability.
Hawley - Bill - Ending - Support - Internet
Hawley's bill, the Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act, would revise section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Introduced in 1996, section 230 is the lynchpin of the legal framework governing major social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. It stipulates that such platforms cannot be treated as the "publishers" of information users post on them, and therefore immunizes them from suits based on the content of those posts.
This platform status has allowed social media firms to dodge criticism of content they serve, even as they have become increasingly prominent features of American political and public life. In Hawley's view, this excuse has extended too far.
Section - Tech - Companies - Sweetheart - Deal
"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," Hawley said. "Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, big tech has failed to hold up its end of the bargain."
Central to Hawley's bill is perceived left-wing bias on the part of many major firms' employees and content moderation practices. Section 230 stipulates that the internet "offer[s] a forum for a true diversity of political discourse," but many on the right fear that their views are being closed out.
Goal - ESIC - Act - Oversight - Platforms
The goal of the ESIC act, then, is to introduce federal oversight to ensure that platforms which enjoy the privileges of section 230 protections are, as Hawley put it, holding up their end of the bargain.
The bill would remove those protections from large tech firms, defined as those with 30 million active monthly users in the United States,...
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I find it extremely funny when people keep voting and expecting the government to change!