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As the debate over what to do about Big Tech platforms heats up in Congress, American Principles Project (APP) announced today that it would be opposing Rep. Jim Jordan’s (R-Ohio) “Protect Free Speech Act” because it does not go far enough in addressing the censorship of conservatives.

 

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In an op-ed for Newsweek, APP’s director of policy and government affairs Jon Schweppe and senior advisor on legal policy and civil liberty Craig Parshall detailed the problems with Jordan’s bill:

 

Republicans should embrace a simple litmus test in deciding whether to support a particular Section 230 reform bill: Will the reform require, or at least strongly incentivize, Facebook and Twitter to un-ban President Donald Trump? If the answer is “no,” then we have a problem. And the answer with Jordan’s bill is almost certainly “no.”

 

With only minor exceptions, the Protect Speech Act continues to provide Big Tech companies with the extraordinary legal protections they enjoy under Section 230. The bill empowers these companies to freely censor user content across a number of different categories. While some of those categories make sense and have judicially honed definitions—for instance, content that is “obscene”—other categories are extremely vague and constitutionally suspect. Censoring “excessively violent” content is permitted by the bill, but who gets to define “excessiveness?” Would online news footage of a bloody Antifa riot qualify as “excessive”? It appears these questions are left solely to the discretion of woke content moderators in Silicon Valley.

 

You can read the full op-ed here.

 

APP was one of the first conservative groups to come out in favor of reforming Section 230 and last year released its own blueprint for doing so: “Protecting Free Speech and Defending Kids: A Proposal to Amend Section 230.”

Author: Press Release

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