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WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - The U.S. Senate has blocked a bill that would allow people to sue Big Tech companies showing bias in their social media platforms.
On Thursday, Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon blocked a bill proposed by Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri that would have allowed Americans to sue big technology companies that unfairly apply their terms of agreement concerning account holders. Hawley introduced the legislation after many conservative outlets complained about ideological bias in social media.
"There are a group of people who seem intent on influencing the people's choice, on manipulating it, on shaping it according to their own preferences," proclaimed Hawley from the Senate floor. "And I'm not talking about China or Russia or Iran."
Hawley recognizes the problem here is internal — U.S. companies abusing their privileges under the law. Platforms, which must remain neutral, are instead acting ideologically.
"I'm talking about a group of corporations, the most powerful corporations in the history of this nation, the most powerful corporations in the history of the world," He continued. "I'm talking about Big Tech."
The senator argued that social media platforms including the big three — Facebook, Twitter and Google — have been increasingly biased against conservatives and pro-life Americans as the presidential election gets closer. He says this is apparent by how such media giants discriminate against supporters of President Trump.
"For months, the tech platforms have been engaging in escalating acts of censorship — political censorship aimed at conservatives," Hawley claimed. "They censored the president of the United States. They have banned pro-life groups from their sites. They have tried to silence independent conservative journalists like The Federalist."
On the other hand, there seems to be no censoring of liberal Tweets, Facebook posts or YouTube videos. Hawley notes this discrepancy is not lost among honest observers.
"Joe Biden isn't censored. Pro-choice groups aren't discriminated against," Hawley insists. "No, Big Tech targets conservatives for censorship for a simple reason. They don't like conservatives. They don't agree with conservatives. They don't want to see conservatives get elected."
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) protects social media platforms against lawsuits. However, for a social media outlet to be a platform rather than a publisher, it must be fair, impartial and cannot unfairly discriminate against certain people.
Wyden, whose objection blocked a Senate vote on Hawley's measure, argued that the intent of the CDA was to protect "the little guy, the person who didn't have power, the person who didn't have clout ... This law is hugely important to movements like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter," he claimed, "because it gives Americans the opportunity to see the messages that they want to get out."
Referring to Hawley, Wyden then struck an accusatory tone: "That's the interest today. That's what the senator from Missouri wants to throw in the trash can."
Hawley disagreed and responded by suggesting Wyden was arguing for proposals in "a world that doesn't exist."
Hawley replied confoundedly:
[Wyden] says Section 230 protects the little guy. Section 230 protects the most powerful corporations in the history of the world. Google and Facebook aren't the little guy. Instagram and Twitter aren't the little guy.
You know who is left vulnerable by those mega-corporations? The people who don't have a voice, the people who when they get deplatformed don't have an option. If you're silenced by Google, Facebook or Twitter, what is your option? None, nothing. You can't be heard. You can't go to court. You can't do anything.
Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell from Washington, the ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee, is ensuring that no substantial changes occur in this regard before the election. Cantwell is promising to block any attempt by Republicans to subpoena Big Tech executives at this time.
"I am happy to work with my colleagues to hold further substantive, bipartisan hearings on how platforms like Facebook, Google and Twitter need to improve," she explained. "But I will not participate in an attempt to use the committee's serious subpoena power for a partisan effort 40 days before an election."
A National Pulse investigation revealed that the "Facebook oversight board, which is responsible for reviewing censorship, is 95% anti-Trump, and three quarters are non-U.S. citizens." The investigation claimed that the new [oversight] body that can even "overrule Mark Zuckerberg is drastically, disproportionately stacked with foreign, left-wing activists including individuals on the payroll of progressive mega-donor George Soros."
Conservatives are concerned that all the censoring by Big Tech, the overwhelming bias communicated through the mainstream media and the fake news may tip November's election in favor of the Biden-Harris ticket.