Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced legislation designed to rein in Big Tech censorship of Americans, telling such companies they’ll be getting “no more free passes.”
Rubio issued a statement to the Daily Caller in which he accused tech companies and social media platforms of having “openly interfered in our elections” and “baselessly” censored important topics.
The bill – dubbed the DISCOURSE Act (Disincentivizing Internet Service Censorship of Online Users and Restrictions on Speech and Expression) – would remove section 230 protections for Big Tech companies that use certain practices and hold them “accountable.”
Doing so would prevent platforms from censoring people on the argument that content is “otherwise objectionable” and insist on more definitive terms such as “promoting terrorism.”
The DISCOURSE Act also embeds a religious liberty clause.
“Today, a group of unelected, anonymous, and unaccountable people now have the power to determine what can and can’t be said in day-to-day online conversation,” Rubio argued in an op-ed for Fox News.
In his column, Rubio cites two major storylines which were squashed by Big Tech companies, both of which interfered with information the American people should have had access to heading into the 2020 presidential election.
One involves the coordinated suppression of the Wuhan Lab Leak theory pertaining to the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. A theory promoted by Donald Trump. A theory that was shut down on social media before the election but has gained traction in recent months.
The second involves the Hunter Biden laptop story which was censored leading up to the election but has since yielded bombshell story after bombshell story involving the President’s son and his dealings.
These platforms all “managed to run interference until after Election Day,” Rubio laments.
He adds, “Big Tech has destroyed countless reputations, openly interfered in our elections in favor of Democrat candidates, and baselessly censored important topics in our national discourse.”
It is Rubio’s hope that the legislation combatting Big Tech censorship will prevent this from happening in the future.
Former President Donald Trump has argued in the past that Section 230 “is a liability shielding gift from the U.S. to Big Tech,” and claimed it “is a serious threat to our National Security [and] Election Integrity.”
Trump was banned permanently by Twitter and indefinitely by Facebook for disputing election results.
Earlier this year, several world leaders lectured Big Tech companies in America for their obvious attempts at censorship.
Trump has reportedly teamed up with Newt Gingrich on a new ‘MAGA doctrine’ for the Republican Party, using the famed “Contract with America” as a framework.
The Political Insider’s own Chris Barron wrote back in February that the GOP should consider such a doctrine which would include, amongst other things, vowing to “break the power of big business and big tech” and to “stand up to the media, Hollywood, and the left-wing culture warriors.”
Last month, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill that would allow individuals to sue social media companies if they are censored and impose fines for Big Tech corporations should they ban elected officials from their platforms.
DeSantis argued that the new legislation will reign in the Big Tech industry’s “power grab on speech, thought and content.”
“When you de-platform the president of the United States but you let Ayatollah Khomeini talk about killing Jews, that is wrong,” he continued as the crowd at the press conference cheered and gave him a standing ovation.
“Every single day we allow this status quo to remain in place, our new public square becomes more censorious and disconnected from reality,” Rubio writes in his op-ed.
“Democracy depends on” the bill being passed, he argues.
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