GOP Senator Forcing Big Tech to Decide: Platform or Publisher?
Big Tech doesn't always act like an honest broker when it comes to conservatives. Something we know first hand (see VOX is Trying to Ban This Channel… and The #VoxAdpocalypse is coming for YOU!). Not that we should stampede right to government regulating companies like Google and Facebook. But as the boss says, they should be forced to decide are they a publisher? Or a platform?
Republican Senator Josh Hawley thinks it's time to have that conversation. And he has legislation to help the conversation along.
“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,” said Sen. Hawley, in a statement. “Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, big tech has failed to hold up its end of the bargain.”
That's putting it mildly, but do go on.
“There’s a growing list of evidence that shows big tech companies making editorial decisions to censor viewpoints they disagree with,” Hawley 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.”
Okay, yeah. Seems fair, no?
We'll see where this goes. It's an election year, and even some Democrats want to break up the Big Tech companies (albeit for different reasons). The companies themselves aren't going to want any government involvement. Who does? Plus taking away their liability exemption is going to cause eleventy different types of chaos.
If nothing else, the Senate will get to drag the heads of the company before a hearing. Get them under oath. Force them to go on record about deplatforming, censoring, or being general crap buckets.
Get the popcorn ready.