GOP senator introduces a bill that would blow up business models for Facebook, YouTube and other tech giants
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is turning up the heat on an issue that is sure to spark outrage in Silicon Valley.
Hawley, a tech critic, introduced legislation on Wednesday that would remove the immunity big technology companies receive under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. The CDA protects online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube from liability for the content users post. However, companies will be able to earn immunity from the crackdown if they submit to audits every two years to prove their algorithms and content-removal practices are “politically neutral.”
Repealing the immunity provision could force these companies to use an editorial system where every piece of user-posted content would have to be vetted for illegal or libelous material before it’s posted, instead relying on algorithms and human checkers to scan it after it was already online and had a chance to spread to millions of people. This would fundamentally alter the business models of companies that depend on huge volumes of user-generated content, including all the big social networks.
“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 Hawley. “Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, big tech has failed to hold up its end of the bargain.”
The Liberty Beacon Project is now expanding at a near exponential rate, and for this we are grateful and excited! But we must also be practical. For 7 years we have not asked for any donations, and have built this project with our own funds as we grew. We are now experiencing ever increasing growing pains due to the large number of websites and projects we represent. So we have just installed donation buttons on our websites and ask that you consider this when you visit them. Nothing is too small. We thank you for all your support and your considerations … (TLB)
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