House Republicans are going after Big Tech.
The Washington Examiner reports that, this past week, Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) released a framework designed to rein in Big Tech.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who supports the framework, explained it in a letter that he sent to House Republicans on Wednesday. According to McCarthy, the House Republicans’ plan to rein in Big Tech can be broken down into “three principles,” namely, “accountability,” “transparency,” and “strenthening-trust review.”
The first of those principles, “accountability,” has to do with holding Big Tech accountable, in McCarthy’s words, “for their infringement of public speech rights.” Here, McCarthy is referring to the way Big Tech has censored users, particularly conservative users, whose viewpoint Big Tech doesn’t approve of.
Here, McCarthy said that House Republicans are looking to remove Big Tech’s Section 230 protection, which exempts them from lawsuits from users for stuff that happens on their platforms.
“Transparency,” according to McCarthy, has to do with forcing Big Tech to make public the reasoning behind their decisions to censor or suspend users. In addition, House Republicans want to push for “a reasonable user-friendly appeals process” for those users who believe that they have been unjustly targeted by Big Tech.
Finally, “strengthening anti-trust review,” has to do with subjecting Big Tech to, in McCarthy’s words, “long-overdue antitrust scrutiny.” Accordingly, House Republicans are looking to make some changes to the law to, among other things, allow state attorneys general to sue Big Tech to “break them up.”
McCarthy referred to this framework as the House Republicans’ “jumping-off point.” And, he said the goal is “to turn this framework into legislation.”
Whether it was a coincidence or not is unclear. But, at about the same time that the House Republicans announced this framework, former President Donald Trump announced class-action lawsuits against Big Tech, specifically “Facebook, Google, and Twitter, as well as their CEOs.”
“We’re asking the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to order an immediate halt to social media companies’ illegal, shameful censorship of the American people and that’s exactly what they are doing,” Trump said.
He added: “We’re demanding an end to the shadow banning, a stop to the silencing, and a stop to the blacklisting, banishing, and canceling that you know so well.”
Republicans are clearly leading the charge against Big Tech. But, what many are waiting to see is whether these actions will lead to any meaningful change. We’ll see.