GOP Sen. Josh Hawley to Introduce Bill Targeting Social Media Censorship

John Romero | June 19, 2019
Font Size

Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley has been one of the hardest critics of Big Tech.

From calling out their bias in the removal of people on their platforms to their abysmal record on privacy rights, Hawley has been a complete hawk in trying to reign in Big Tech and their massive control of political discourse. Now, according to Bloomberg, Hawley is set to introduce a bill called the Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act requiring large social media companies to go in front of the Federal Trade Commission and prove to four out of the five commissioners that they have no bias in their decision-making process relating to removing people. Platforms will then have to submit to audits every two years to prove their algorithms and content-removal requirements are “politically neutral."

The measure as currently written will apply to social media companies with 30 million monthly active users in the U.S. or 50 million worldwide, or that have $500 million in global yearly revenue. If companies don’t comply with these standards, then their legal immunities as open platforms would be stripped and they would be open to a lawsuit for content on their platform, just like publishers. Doing so would require companies like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to manually review every piece of content for potential libel, incurring massive financial burdens and putting them at a much higher risk of being sued.

“This legislation simply states that if the tech giants want to keep their government-granted immunity, they must bring transparency and accountability to their editorial processes and prove that they don’t discriminate,” Hawley said, according to CNBC.

Sen. Hawley has proposed other legislation as well to protect people’s privacy and children who are on social media platforms.