Loeffler Targets Big Tech with Stop Suppressing Speech Act of 2020
Introduces Legislation to Fight Online Censorship, Define Protections of Section 230
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) introduced the Stop Suppressing Speech Act of 2020 to revoke immunity for Big Tech companies that selectively block competition and lawful speech, to promote free speech and to increase transparency on widely-used internet platforms.
“Free speech is the bedrock of American democracy, with our Founding Fathers enshrining this sacred right in the First Amendment to the Constitution,” Loeffler said. “In a country that has long cherished the freedom of expression, we cannot allow Big Tech to handpick the speech that conservatives and Americans may access and post on the internet. For too long, Big Tech has hidden behind the overly vague Section 230 protections, while engaging in practices that are fundamentally un-American and anti-democratic. That’s why I am introducing the Stop Suppressing Speech Act of 2020 to empower individual users and hold Silicon Valley executives to the same standards – and the same liabilities – as every other American.”
“Big Tech should not have special immunity to censor anything and anyone they don’t like,” said Rep. Gosar, the sponsor of companion legislation of the Stop Suppressing Speech Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. “The broad and undue immunity for content and user removal granted by Section 230 must be reined in. Congress cannot continue to subsidize, deputize, or blackmail Silicon Valley to decide what is or isn’t an allowable conversation. This bill empowers users and limits Big Tech to the same rights and liabilities as everyone else, and I applaud Senator Loeffler for sponsoring this effort in the Senate.”
The Stop Suppressing Speech Act of 2020 would replace ambiguous terminology in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act with concrete terms recommended by the U.S. Department of Justice. Specifically, it removes the catch-all phrase “or other objectionable” and inserts “unlawful, or that promotes violence or terrorism” in a list of good faith actions that content platforms take to maintain Section 230 protections.
Loeffler has taken several actions to hold Big Tech accountable, including:
- Introducing the Stopping Big Tech Censorship Act to amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and provide a process for individuals to challenge technology companies’ liability protections after a company regulates otherwise constitutionally protected speech;
- Cosponsoring the Limiting Section 230 Immunity to Good Samaritans Act to allow Americans to sue Big Tech companies for selectively censoring or suppressing political speech; and
- Sending a letter requesting that the Federal Communication Commission reexamine Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and clearly define the criteria for which companies can receive protections under the statute.