How should conservatives address the issue of Big Tech censoring political views?
Jon Schweppe, director of policy and government affairs at American Principles Project (APP), took on this question today in an op-ed for the New York Post. In the piece, Schweppe explains the danger of allowing too much power to be concentrated in the hands of censorious Silicon Valley ideologues:
Consider a company like Google, which owns more than 90 percent of the global market share for online search. That kind of power over the free flow of information is incredibly dangerous. With a single algorithmic tweak, Google could change the course of events.
That should frighten us all. But Google, like any Big Tech platform, relies heavily on Section 230 to protect itself from legal exposure. It’s a benefit that bolsters its near $1 trillion market valuation. Google needs that subsidy, and we need to prevent the information game from being rigged.
So, let’s make a deal.
Schweppe goes on to describe APP’s blueprint to rewrite Section 230, which was released last week:
Our proposal is simple: Attach strings to the subsidy. Market-dominant companies would receive immunity as long as they allow speech on their private platforms that would be otherwise constitutionally protected on a public sidewalk.
Then, rather than relying on some alphabet-soup government agency for enforcement, we would create a private right of action for users who could demonstrate that their speech was unfairly suppressed online…
We believe the incentive here is obvious. This amendment would strongly encourage market-dominant Big Tech companies to revert to the pro-free-speech posture they took prior to the 2016 election.