10.28.20

Gardner Questions Big Tech CEOs on Section 230, Social Media Censorship

Washington, D.C. – Today U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) questioned the CEOs of major internet technology companies at a hearing held by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation titled, “Does Section 230’s Sweeping Immunity Enable Big Tech Bad Behavior?”

The hearing examined the role of Section 230 in today’s digital age. The committee heard testimony from Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet Inc., Google, and Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, who Gardner questioned about online censorship practices.

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NOTE: Click here or the picture above to download Senator Gardner’s remarks.

“I don’t like the idea of a group of unelected elites in San Francisco or Silicon Valley deciding whether my speech is permissible on their platforms, but I like even less the idea of unelected Washington, D.C. bureaucrats trying to enforce some kind of ‘politically neutral’ content moderation,” said Senator Gardner.“We have to be careful and not rush to legislate in ways that stifle speech. You can delete Facebook, turn off Twitter, or try to ditch Google – but you cannot unsubscribe from government censors. Congress should be focused on encouraging speech, not restricting it. The Supreme Court has tried teaching us that lesson time and again, and the Constitution demands we remember it.”

Gardner introduced the Free the Internet around the Globe to Hack Tyranny and Censorship Act (FIGHT Censorship Act) in September, which would establish a clear U.S. policy on internet freedom, require the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to communicate that policy around the world, and establish an internet freedom task force. 

The bill would also require the Secretary of State to make annual designations of countries that are deemed not to have sufficient internet freedom, authorize a grant program to fight global censorship, and create a new Stop the CCP Initiative Fund to counter censorship by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

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Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.