While the idea of the federal government regulating social media leaves much to be desired, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., has a new bill designed to combat censorship from the industry giants.
Social media bias against conservatives is a foregone conclusion in all corners, except those allegedly doing the discrimination and their political allies, to include the liberal media, and the junior senator appeared on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” to discuss his bill.
“For years, America’s tech monopolies have had their growth subsidized by the federal government,” Fox News host Tucker Carlson said in setting up the segment. “All thanks to Section 230 of something called the Communications Decency Act. The law protects tech companies from being sued for defamation and fraud on the grounds that they simply provide an online platform for users and anyone can use.”
“But that’s a lie. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube aren’t open platforms,” Carlson said. “They’re censors. They’re happy to ban and silence anyone they dislike — usually on political grounds.”
This immunity is the focal point of a bill introduced by Hawley addressing bias by the tech giants, with politically motivated censorship resulting in these protections being stripped away.
“What my bill says is look, if they’re gonna have this special immunity — that nobody else gets, by the way — they should not discriminate on the basis of speech,” Hawley told Carlson.
“They ought to embrace the same First Amendment values that everybody else embraces, and so no discrimination on the basis of your political views. If they want to discriminate, they shouldn’t get the special deals from government,” he added.
Hawley noted that Big Tech and their backers are opposed to the legislation.
“All that we’re saying is if you want to get special deals from government, if you want to be treated differently, you know what, quit discriminating against conservatives and libertarians,” the lawmaker said.
He noted that Big Tech has “enormous power,” and that “they control the channels of social communication, they control the news that people get,” and with the companies insisting that they don’t discriminate, they should be willing to submit to an outside audit to prove it, as required by his bill.
Playing the devil’s advocate, Carlson asked why not start up your own Google?
“Google buys them, Google suppresses them… engages in anti-competitive conduct,” Hawley countered.
He also addressed critics who say he’s trying to force speech, or police speech.
Oh nonsense. These are the same tired arguments used to defend sex trafficking online. Here’s what I say: if the monopoly-size tech platforms want to keep their special immunity given by the fed govt, they should stop censoring political viewpoints they don’t like https://t.co/JtUTN6BZJg
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) June 20, 2019
“That’s just nonsense,” he said. “My point it’s just this, stop discriminating against conservatives. Stops oppressing other viewpoints that you don’t agree with. I mean, it’s just as simple as that.”
“If they want to discriminate against conservatives, if they want to push the liberal agenda, that’s fine,” Hawley concluded. “But they shouldn’t get these special deals that nobody else gets.”
“And they can live like the rest of us,” Carlson chimed in.
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