Sen. Josh Hawley wants people to be sue big tech companies he says are selectively censoring political speech and hiding content created by their competitors.
The Missouri Republican’s bill, introduced Wednesday, would forbid big tech firms from receiving immunity unless they update their terms of service to promise to operate in good faith and pay a $5,000 fine if they violate that promise. That immunity is enshrined in a 1996 telecommunications law known as Section 230.
“For too long, Big Tech companies like Twitter, Google and Facebook have used their power to silence political speech from conservatives without any recourse for users,” said Hawley, a frequent tech industry critic, in a statement. “Section 230 has been stretched and rewritten by courts to give these companies outlandish power over speech without accountability. Congress should act to ensure bad actors are not given a free pass to censor and silence their opponents.”