Combating the censorship of conservatives and anyone or anything that’s even slightly right-of-center by Big Tech is one of the most important battles for Republican leadership—and they finally seem ready to do something about it.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has gotten together with Republican Whip Steve Scalise, House Republican Chair Elise Stefanik, along with Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Debbie Lesko to propose the “Political BIAS Emails Act.”
That’s a fancy name for a piece of legislation crafted to put an end to the use by large tech companies—including Google—of biased algorithms designed to filter political emails. The legislation would also generate a little more transparency when it comes to the filtering procedures adopted by email services, by requiring them to produce transparency reports.
Senator John Thune of South Dakota has also introduced a companion bill in the Senate.
.@GOPLeader & other House Rs have introduced my bill to hold Big Tech accountable & demand transparency for American consumers. They share my belief that consumers, not Big Tech, should be in control of Americans’ online decisions. https://t.co/NZ1GMVflew
— Senator John Thune (@SenJohnThune) June 22, 2022
The proposed legislation is welcome news, especially after a study by North Carolina State University’s Department of Computer Science learned that Google’s Gmail was disproportionately shunting emails from conservative sources to the spam folder. And it’s long been reported that Google-owned YouTube has notoriously suppressed conservative search results and boosted those from left-wing outlets.
The Political BIAS Emails Act will “prohibit large email platforms like Google’s Gmail from using filtering algorithms on emails sent from a political campaign unless the owner or user of the email account took action to apply a label such as spam,” as well as “allow political campaigns to request a report on information specific to the individual campaign including the total number of emails that reached the intended recipient’s primary inbox,” and “require large email platforms to provide political campaigns best practices on steps the campaign can take to increase the number of emails reaching a recipient’s primary inbox.”
🚨THANK YOU House Republicans for introducing the Political BIAS Email Act.
This important proposal would end political discriminatory practices by e-mail providers & improve transparency. Enabling all candidates and voters to communicate free of bias.https://t.co/NCYyryO4Sd
— Freedom To Connect (@Free_To_Connect) June 21, 2022
“Today’s Big Tech behemoths were once the gold standard of entrepreneurism and innovation, and offered space for the First Amendment to live freely,” McCarthy said in a statement announcing the proposed legislation.
“But over the years, these platforms abandoned these First Amendment principles and have instead chosen to use their immense power to pick a side in our country’s political discourse…[w]ith this bill, Republicans are fighting back against Big Tech’s discriminatory infiltration into our political discourse, and will continue to take on Big Tech whenever and wherever they silence political speech,” he added.
“Big Tech companies have decided they are the arbiters of truth,” Rep. Lesko added in a statement on Tuesday. “Big Tech companies should not be interfering with our free and fair elections and silencing political discourse. I am proud to introduce this legislation to hold Big Tech companies accountable if they attempt to insert themselves in the political process and suppress political content.”
News of the proposed legislation is music to the ears of conservatives who have encountered the underhanded and dishonest censorship tactics employed by Big Tech corporations to silence dissenting viewpoints and suppress conservative speech. And although the legislation is unlikely to go anywhere in the current Democratic-held Congress, the likelihood of a Republican sweep in November may bring with it a slew of more proactive and aggressive GOP legislation like the Political BIAS Emails Act.
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