Last week, GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas introduced legislation aimed at removing current liability protections from Big Tech while forcing them to pay a price — literally — for their bias.
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="223"] Congressman Louie Gohmert[/caption]
“It is time for social media companies to be liable for any biased and unethical impropriety of their employees as any other media company,” Gohmert noted in a statement. “If these companies want to continue to act like a biased medium and publish their own agendas to the detriment of others, they need to be held accountable.”
The Texas Republican’s bill, H.R.7363, amends Section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934 to prevent the social media platforms from hindering “the display of user-generated content” by censorship or other means. If platforms are found to be hiding or downgrading certain content, they could be held legally and financially liable.
Studies have found that conservative content especially has been purposely hidden or otherwise banned from news feeds and other displays on sites like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Google. As reported by The Gateway Pundit, one site — The Western Journal, a conservative site — has lost some 75 percent of its Facebook traffic since 2016. Another site, 100PercentFedUp, owned by Klicked Media, has lost similar amounts of traffic from social media, especially Facebook.
“We lost 70 percent to 80 percent of our traffic if you compare January to May 2017 vs Jan to May 2018,” said Klicked Media owner Jared Vallorani, in an interview with The Gateway Pundit.
Also, several notable conservative figures and websites have been banned completely from these platforms, though Left-leaning sites and figures have not, despite committing violations of the platforms’ community standards.
Facebook has also deleted prominent conservatives completely from their platform. Alex Jones, Infowars, Laura Loomer, Gavin McInnes, triple-amputee veteran Brian Kolfage and Roger Stone have lost their pages in the last year.
Gohmert noted that social media platforms like Twitter, Google, and Facebook “are now among the largest and most powerful companies in the world.” He also said that more and more people are getting their news from those social media platforms, which has made them even more influential and powerful than “traditional media outlets.” (Related: WOW: Louie Gohmert says watchdog found that Hillary’s emails went to ‘FOREIGN ENTITY’ and Strzok did nothing.)
“And yet,” he continued, “social media companies enjoy special legal protections” under the Communications Act of 1934, which traditional press outlets do not have.
“Instead of acting like the neutral platforms they claim to be in order to obtain their immunity, these companies have turned [the law] into a license to potentially defraud and defame with impunity,” Gohmert added.
The Texas lawmaker said that representatives of social media companies have appeared before Congress claiming that their platforms do not discriminate against conservative figures or voices. And yet, right-leaning news and information sources continue to report declines in social media traffic, though Left-leaning sites do not.
In addition, “employees from some of these companies have communicated their digits for conservatives and discussed ways to use social media platforms and algorithms to silence and prevent income to conservatives,” Gohmert added.
In January, NewsTarget reported that Twitter employees were busted by James O’Keefe and his undercover media sting operation Project Veritas discussing the development of algorithms that use “machine learning,” keywords and other techniques to perform “shadow bans” on conservative sites.
“In one hearing, one of the internet social media executives indicated a desire to be treated like Fox News. Fox News does not have their immunity and this bill will fulfill that unwitting request,” Gohmert said.
Read more about social media censorship at Censorship.news.