Taking the Sting Out of Censorship: Seth Dillon, Rep. McMorris Rodgers on 3 Ways to Hit Big Tech

August 2nd, 2022 4:32 PM

The Babylon Bee CEO and the leader of the House Republican Big Tech Task Force are taking the sting out of Big Tech censorship by detailing three ways to hold Big Tech companies to account.

Section 230 reform, new Federal Trade Commission filing requirements and improved content moderation appeals processes could help “end Big Tech censorship of free speech.”

That’s according to a recent New York Post op-ed by The Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon and House Energy and Commerce Committee ranking member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA).

Online platforms are the “modern town square,” Dillon and McMorris Rodgers wrote. “Free speech must be cherished and preserved.”  They added, “It’s time Big Tech companies uphold American values and become fair stewards of the speech they host.” 

First, they said Section 230 liability protections for tech companies must be narrowed, “by removing ambiguity in the law — which they exploit to suppress and penalize constitutionally protected speech.” This would remove the protections that allow Big Tech to censor non-woke voices without consequences.

Dillon and McMorris Rodgers also said they would “sunset Section 230 protections after five years” to allow Congress to reevaluate the statute and prevent Big Tech from censoring more.

The second proposal was “requiring quarterly filings to the Federal Trade Commission to keep Big Tech transparent about content moderation.” This would allow the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Congress, and the American people to know why and when content is censored and whether that censorship was justifiable, Dillon and McMorris Rodgers wrote.

Finally, Dillon and McMorris Rodgers proposed the improvement of tech platforms’ appeals processes so users can “challenge moderation decisions” and contact state attorneys general to request legal action against Big Tech on their behalf.

“Twitter would be required to notify a user, like the Babylon Bee, through direct communication before taking any censorship action,” Dillon and McMorris Rodgers wrote. “Big Tech would also be required to give users the option to challenge any censorship decisions with a real person — not a bot — to disincentivize Big Tech from completely automating its censorship process.”

Big Tech has fact-checked or suppressed satire site The Babylon Bee several times, Dillon and McMorris Rodgers noted. Facebook fact-checked the satire, “CNN Purchases Industrial-Sized Washing Machine to Spin News Before Publication,” as supposed misinformation.

Online censorship often has more serious consequences than that. Dillon and McMorris Rodgers mentioned Big Tech’s censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop scandals published by the New York Post before the 2020 election. Media Research Center found that this Big Tech censorship and Big Media coverup helped steal the election for Joe Biden.

The Babylon Bee is a member of the Free Speech Alliance headed up by the Media Research Center.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing an equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us using CensorTrack’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.