Bipartisan ‘Break Up Big Tech’ Act Introduced in Congress to Repeal Section 230 Protections for Online Publishers
Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) have introduced the “Break Up Big Tech” act to bust up the Silicon Valley monopolies enabled by big government regulations.
The legislation would remove special immunities given to Big Tech firms under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act if they acted as publishers rather than neutral platforms.
“Big tech monopolies like Google and Facebook have made billions of dollars by creating online platforms that monetize our private information, use manipulative and destructive algorithms, and act as publishers choosing what information they want to censor or publish. They undermine our freedom of speech and treat us and our attention as the product, monetizing it to line their pockets with more money without any regard for the damaging consequences,” Gabbard said.
“This bill removes the legal immunity that service providers have taken advantage of to act with impunity, while maintaining Section 230 protections for those who provide truly neutral social media platforms or search engines without the use of manipulative algorithms,” she added.
“Big Tech monopolies continue to censor and manipulate users without consent or liability. The Break Up Big Tech Act revokes liability protections for bad Samaritans and instead empowers users,” Gosar said.
“I am proud to work with Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard on the Don’t Push My Buttons Act, Stop the Censorship Act, and now the Break Up Big Tech Act to reform Section 230 and protect online consent and free speech instead of censorship and manipulation,” he added.
Big League Politics has reported about similar efforts in the Senate, spearheaded by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), that would cut Big Tech entities down to size by targeting their regulatory privilege:
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) has emerged as the leading reformer against social media censorship, as he is going after their special immunity privileges under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
As it states right now, Section 230 states that “no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”
Howley’s bill, the Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act, would remove that exemption for Big Tech firms if they act like publishers instead of neutral platforms. Corporations would have to comply with external audits proving their algorithms and content moderation are not biased.
“With Section 230, tech companies get a sweetheart deal that no other industry enjoys: complete exemption from traditional publisher liability in exchange for providing a forum free of political censorship,” Hawley said in a statement. “Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, big tech has failed to hold up its end of the bargain.”
“There’s a growing list of evidence that shows big tech companies making editorial decisions to censor viewpoints they disagree with,” Hawley added. “Even worse, the entire process is shrouded in secrecy because these companies refuse to make their protocols public. 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.”
As Big Tech’s monopoly power grows, a bipartisan coalition is emerging in Congress to challenge these monolithic entities that may already be the most powerful corporate entities in world history.