Republican State Rep. Megan Jones cast doubt on any legislative effort addressing Big Tech censorship in Iowa during a forum on the weekend. Each chamber has a bill addressing the issue, but Jones said she has concerns about both.
“It is frustrating when posts get taken down and they’re completely accurate, but then other posts get reported and they’re incredibly demeaning toward people or a thought process,” Jones said. “It gets frustrating. I understand that and I respect that. But I also think, don’t use that platform then. I’m not sure there’s a legislative solution to this problem other than capitalism.”
The “issue,” Jones said, appears to go broader and deeper than anyone anticipated. She said punishing Apple and Microsoft will make it so the platforms aren’t usable in Iowa’s infrastructure.
“I don’t know who else we would go to,” she said. “While it may sound like a really interesting idea, I appreciate the conversations that have happened about that and how we can make sure that everybody has access to free speech, but at the same time I’m just not sure that those bills are the way to go and I’m not confident that there’s a legislative solution to that problem.”
Her GOP colleague, Rep. John Wills, also seemed to express skepticism. Wills said he doesn’t believe the problem of Big Tech censorship can be fixed until the federal government changes the designation of the platforms and removes their protections provided.
The proposed legislative fixes, Wills said, are “band-aid” fixes.
“They’re quick and easy trying to address a problem,” Wills said.
If Iowa has .0001 percent of the people on Facebook, Wills said Facebook will simply not care about whatever Iowa does. Instead, Iowa should band together with other states to address the First Amendment violations.
While Wills said he doesn’t believe the legislation proposed in the House is the “appropriate” way to go, the Senate legislation has some teeth to it in terms of removing tax incentives.