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Babylon Bee joins Florida in lawsuit to defend crackdown on Big Tech censorship

Christian satire website the Babylon Bee has filed a legal brief in support of a Florida law aimed at combatting Big Tech censorship, CEO Seth Dillon announced Friday.

Interviewed on “Fox & Friends First,” Dillon brought up how the Bee has been targeted by fact-checkers and social media content moderators who want the site deplatformed for making the wrong jokes.

“We face some of these censorship problems, we’ve faced challenges with fact-checks being abused to try and get us deplatformed and knocked off the platform,” Dillon said. “There are new policies now that are aimed at curbing and minimizing hate speech but really they’re going to affect satire like ours because they consider some of our jokes ‘punching down’ because we aim at some of their sacred cows.

“So, there is a lot of reasons why it’s a deal for us,” Dillon he continued. “We’ve been threatened with deplatforming many times, we are actively being throttled on Facebook, for example, so it’s in our best interest to make sure we have an equal right to these platforms, that their content standards that are put into place are applied evenly.”

According to Dillon, social media companies are abusing the liability protections they enjoy under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

“I think the end game should be to basically restore the original intended purpose of Section 230, which was to give these platforms a shield from liability and the ability to moderate the content on their platforms. But, the content moderation is supposed to be done in good faith, that’s one of the provisions of the statute, and right now we’re not seeing good faith implementation of these moderation practices,” Dillon said.

“They’re not just taking down objectively obscene or lewd content, they’re engaging in politically motivated viewpoint discrimination,” he asserted.

He compared Section 230 protections to “tax-exempt status,” a “legal benefit with qualifying conditions” that companies may enjoy as long as they follow the law. Dillon said tech companies must realize the platforms they’ve created have become a “public square” that must not favor certain viewpoints over others.

The Florida law, which is currently being challenged in court, allows state residents to sue Big Tech companies if they feel they’ve been treated unfairly and prohibits those companies from deplatforming political candidates. After trade groups representing Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites sued Florida, a federal judge in June temporarily blocked the law from going into effect, siding with the plaintiffs’ argument that the law violated the First Amendment.

Since then, 11 states have joined Florida in an appeal to reverse the court’s decision.

“I’m optimistic, I think ultimately, this will be resolved. It will either be resolved because Congress is going to end up revising Section 230 language to make it a little bit more explicit about what needs to happen there, you know good faith is kind of vague,” Dillon said.

“I’m optimistic that there is going to be a solution. It may have to go to the Supreme Court.”

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