Republican lawmakers are slowly but surely jumping on board Missouri GOP Sen. Josh Hawley’s crusade to change crucial parts of big tech’s business models.
GOP Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina are leaning toward amending a law that protects major tech companies from being sued for content users post on their platforms. Both lawmakers have suggested in the past that they would like to look accusations of Google and Facebook’s alleged conservative bias.
Graham, one of President Donald Trump’s most devoted allies, said Tuesday he wants to make changes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which was passed in 1996 when the internet was new. Hawley has been front and center on the issue for months, pushing various legislation targeting YouTube and Silicon Valley companies.
Hawley introduced the Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act, which dramatically amends 230, giving companies immunity only if they can show they are politically neutral.
“Things would change tomorrow if you could get sued,” Graham said during a congressional hearing Tuesday dealing with online dangers to kids. YouTube is under pressure to turn off its recommendation systems for videos featuring kids after reports showed potential predators were abusing the feature.
Cruz is mirroring Graham’s position. “If they are going to refuse to be neutral. If they are going to engage in viewpoint discrimination, then they don’t deserve any special immunity from liability that congress has given them,” the Texas Republican said in a BlazeTV interview Wednesday.