Will US Senate end protection of big tech companies?
A Republican senator Josh Howley proposed a new legislation on Wednesday, that aims at ending government legal support for Silicon Valley big tech online platforms, such a Facebook, Youtube etc.
Hawley's bill would change Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which provides immunity for big tech platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter from liability for content posted by its users.
Under his legislation, titled the Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act, companies would have to earn immunity by submitting to Federal Trade Commission audits that prove their algorithms and content-removal practices are "politically neutral."
The change would apply only to companies with more than 30 million active monthly users in the U.S., more than 300 million active monthly users worldwide or more than $500 million in global annual revenue.
"These tech companies, I mean they exist in a way they are because of Section 230, which is a very special carve out that nobody else in their space, no other media account as you all know, no other media companies no other publishers, nobody gets this special treatment that they do," Hawley said in an interview with NBC News last month. "That section was supposed to be a pro-competition, pro-innovation and frankly pro-speech provision."
This move is seen as a backlash from the American right to those tech platforms seeking to suspend or ban some users for ''spreading hate speech'', which the right side of the political spectrum considers as censorship and violation of the first amendment, that guarantees right to free speech.