(READ) Bill would prohibit Big Tech from censoring online speech

Democrats and Republicans have been equally critical of Big Tech in recent years, though they differ on their specific criticism. And they have yet to agree on any measures to address what they see as the problems.

Now, the lead Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee, Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) has introduced a new bill that would “prohibit Big Tech from engaging in unfair, deceptive, or anti-competitive practices that limit or control consumers’ speech.”

The “Promoting Rights and Online Speech Protections to Ensure Every Consumer is Heard” or PRO-SPEECH Act would:

·       Preserve consumers’ ability to access lawful content, applications, services, or devices that do not interfere with an internet platform’s functionality or pose a data privacy or data security risk to a user;

·       Prohibit internet platforms from taking any actions against users based on racial, sexual, religious, partisan, or ethnic grounds;

·       Prohibit large internet platforms from blocking or discriminating against competing internet platforms by declaring such actions presumptively anti-competitive; 

·       Require an internet platform to disclose to the public accurate information regarding the platform management practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms of service of any app store, cloud computing service, operating system, search engine, or social media network it owns; and

·       Authorize the Federal Trade Commission to enforce the Act under Section 5 of the FTC Act notwithstanding any other provision of law.

“The big social media companies continue to abuse their market power by censoring content, suppressing certain viewpoints, and prioritizing favored political speech,” said Wicker. “My bill would put safeguards in place to preserve internet freedom, promote competition, and protect consumers from these blatantly biased practices. It is time for Congress to act to ensure the internet can be an open forum where diverse views are expressed.”

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)

Because Wicker is a Republican, his bill stands little chance of passage unless Democrats get on board because Democrats hold the majority in Congress.

Read the bill at the link below:


Order “Slanted: How the News Media Taught Us to Love Censorship and Hate Journalism” by Sharyl Attkisson today at Harper Collins, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million, IndieBound, Bookshop!

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4 thoughts on “(READ) Bill would prohibit Big Tech from censoring online speech”

  1. This issue is somewhat different from slanted “journalistic” media in that the platforms, for the most part, do not profess to be journalistic. So, the argument that owners of these businesses have the right to control the content can sound reasonable. The problems that arise, however, are quite similar to slanted “journalism” in that the public is largely subject to an implied understanding that what is posted represents what others have to say. The efforts to legislate the way that FB or Twitter manage their content gets very touchy as it puts conservatives in the role of forwarding governmental controls over private industry. What if the issue of the implied understanding were to be focused on? When the government wanted to make sure people understood the dangers of cigarettes they required warnings to be printed on the packages. What if every time one opens their FB app, a banner appears that says, “The posts that appear on FB are filtered and/or edited by FB in order to forward the agenda of FB executives”? Likewise, in the world of news media, could there be clear standards of objectivity established in order for a media outlet to label itself “News”? And, if those standards are violated, that media outlet would have to open each broadcast with a similar disclaimer stating clearly that their content does not follow objective journalistic practices. Perhaps the word “News” would be limited in its use to only those consistently meeting the criteria for sound journalism. The idea is to support public awareness rather than have government getting more entangled in the affairs of private enterprise.

  2. Great bill. Now, explain to me how a government that can’t even enforce the Do Not Call List is going to enforce this.

    1. metaphorsbwithu

      Where there is no fear of punishment and being held to account for wrongdoing, evil florishes.

      Social media platforms are totalitarian in nature. If you don’t go along, they eliminate you. The process is the punshment.

      With government, today, its two-tiered system of justice picks and chooses who to go after to force its will – even if the behavior is not illegal.

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