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Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) attacked conservative proposals Wednesday to address big tech’s political censorship on the Internet. McMorris Rodgers has received over $80,000 from Google and Facebook over her career in Congress.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing Wednesday entitled, “Fostering a Healthier Internet to Protect Consumers,” in which members discussed Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Section 230 grants Internet platforms broader legal immunity from lawsuits for hosting offensive content. Conservatives and many tech experts contend that Section 230 awards social media giants too much legal immunity, which allows Facebook, Google, and Twitter to censor conservative and alternative voices on the Internet.
Hearing - Wednesday - McMorris - Rodgers - Republican
During the hearing Wednesday, McMorris Rodgers slammed both Republican as well as Democrat proposals to “mandate or dictate free speech or ensure fairness online.” She added that “these proposals are not consistent with the First Amendment.”
“It shouldn’t be the @FCC, @FTC, or any government agency’s job to moderate free speech online,” McMorris Rodgers said. ”Instead, we should continue to provide oversight of Big Tech & their use of #Section230, and also encourage constructive discussions on the responsible use of content moderation.”
Discussion - Balance - Section230 - Consumers - Innovators
“We should have a serious & thoughtful discussion on achieving the balance of #Section230. I’m not for gutting it. It’s essential for consumers and innovators in the Internet ecosystem,” she said. “Misguided and hasty attempts to amend or even repeal #Section230 for bias or other reasons could have unintended consequences for #freespeech and the ability for small businesses to provide new and innovative services.”
While it may appear that the Washington Republican merely discussed the general idea of addressing political censorship on the Internet, a McMorris Rodgers aide confirmed to Politico that her comments during the hearing served as a direct shot at Sen. Josh Hawley’s (R-MO) legislation, the Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act.
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