WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, released the following statement Wednesday, Jan. 13, in response to Big Tech companies that have restricted or terminated conservative users’ accounts and content on social media platforms:
“Big Tech’s denial of access to users and selective decision making about online content is further dividing our country during a time when we should be fostering unity,” said Wicker. “Social media giants are using their market dominance and exercising politically biased censorship over what content users can access. These companies are adversely affecting the lives of real people, but they need to know they are playing with fire. I will fight to hold them accountable.”
Wicker has pushed for Big Tech reform. In November, Wicker subpoenaed the heads of Facebook, Google and Twitter for a hearing looking into reform of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996.
Section 230 gave Internet platforms immunity from slander and libel lawsuits. Section 230 is the first time in history a publishing entity has been allowed to sell advertising and profit from its publishing activities yet have no legal responsibility for the content published. Congress, in its attempt to protect the infant Internet industry, allowed this language 25 years ago.
Now Internet platforms are among the richest, most powerful media institutions in the world with zero legal accountability for their actions. Their influence has repeatedly been questioned in national elections.
Traditional media outlet — newspapers, radio stations, televisions, etc — are legally responsible for editorial content and ads in their publications. Facebook, Twitter, Google and other internet platforms do not have to adhere to that level of truth.