According to the Washington Examiner, House Republicans on Wednesday released a framework detailing how the party plans to combat Big Tech and finally end the unfair censorship practices against conservatives.
“For the sake of preserving free speech and a free economy, it’s time Big Tech faces the music,” a statement released by House Republicans reads. “House Republicans are ready to lead.”
Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) are spearheading the new effort. In addition, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has signaled that he’s on board and ready to take up the fight.
What’s the plan?
According to the statement released by GOP lawmakers, their plan has three principles: “Accountability,” “Transparency,” and “Strengthening Anti-Trust Review.” Under “Accountability,” the House Republicans write, “our framework would rein in Big Tech and end their abusive practices, including by changing the law so that Americans can challenge Big Tech directly for their infringement of public speech rights.”
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is the law that Republicans intend to change. That particular law protects Big Tech platforms from being held legally responsible for the actions of their users. However, it has also allowed Big Tech to avoid legal challenges as a result of decisions to censor certain users. House Republicans feel it’s important to strip away that protection.
With regard to “Transparency,” the House Republicans write that “our framework would empower Americans by ending Big Tech’s ability to hide behind vague terms of service that have not constrained their conduct in any meaningful way.”
Here, the House Republicans say that they plan to make it necessary for Big Tech to publicly explain its moderation decisions or censorship. The GOP lawmakers also want Big Tech to offer a “user-friendly appeals process.”
Finally, under “Strengthening Anti-Trust Review,” the House Republicans write, “Our framework also recognizes that the status quo and bureaucratic delays are not acceptable when it comes to bringing long-overdue antitrust scrutiny to Big Tech.” In other words, Republicans want an “expedited court process with a direct appeal to the Supreme Court,” as well as the ability for state attorneys general to bring legal challenges “to break them up.”
The purpose of the framework, according to the Examiner, is to provide an alternative to the various bipartisan bills targeting Big Tech that have already passed. One of the key differences between those bills and the new, Republican-led legislative proposal is that the previous bills do not address the censorship of conservatives.
“Big Tech has targeted conservatives for far too long. House Judiciary Republicans have had enough,” Jordan said. “We believe that this agenda will serve as the Republican platform to take on Big Tech going forward and unite our party to reject Big Tech’s ‘cancel culture’ practices.'”
The legislation is expected to be introduced in the coming weeks.
Only time will tell if Republicans have any success moving the legislation forward against expected Democratic opposition, but even if it has to wait until Republicans reclaim majority control of the lower chamber, it’ll be well worth it.