Under pressure to come up with a conservative approach to holding Big Tech companies accountable, House Republicans announced on Wednesday an agenda that would make it easier to break up tech companies in court and challenge unfair censorship.
House Judiciary Committee Republicans, led by ranking member Jim Jordan of Ohio, said their agenda would speed up and strengthen antitrust enforcement, hold Big Tech accountable for censorship, and increase transparency around tech companies’ content moderation decisions.
The proposals in the agenda will be introduced as legislation in the coming weeks by House Judiciary Republicans after they consult House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and other top Republicans.
“Big Tech has targeted conservatives for far too long. House Judiciary Republicans have had enough,” Jordan told the Washington Examiner.
“We believe that this agenda will serve as the Republican platform to take on Big Tech going forward and unite our party to reject Big Tech’s ‘cancel culture’ practices,” he added.
The Republican agenda is meant to provide an alternative to the six bipartisan anti-Big Tech bills passed in June by the Judiciary Committee that many Republicans, including Jordan and McCarthy, oppose.
They claim the bills, six sweeping antitrust bills aimed at reining in tech companies such as Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook, fail to address the censorship of conservatives.
Instead, the House Judiciary Republican agenda suggests proposals to make it easier to seek legal remedies against Big Tech companies’ content moderation decisions by allowing individuals to sue the companies for censorship and overhaul the tech companies’ tech liability protections.
Republicans want to amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, the controversial law that gives online platforms legal immunity for third-party content, to ensure content moderation decisions “are done in good faith, based on objectively reasonable criteria,” according to the Big Tech agenda document obtained by the Washington Examiner.
The Republicans will introduce a proposal to require that large social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, make their content moderation decision and censorship actions publicly available and force them to pay a “massive fine,” the agenda said, for failing to do so.
The Republican agenda also proposes making it easier to break up the Big Tech companies altogether by expediting trial court consideration of antitrust cases and empowering state attorneys general to utilize the same fast-track legal procedures available to the federal government.
Author: Nihal Krishan
Source: Washington Examiner: House Republicans unveil legislative plan to break up Big Tech and stop censorship