Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee unveiled this week a plan to regulate Big Tech monopolies, in part by allowing users who have been censored to sue the platforms.
The plan, which is intended to serve as a framework for future legislation, could have serious impacts on massive technology platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google if implemented.
It comes only weeks after the committee as a whole voted to advance six bipartisan antitrust bills aimed at curbing Big Tech’s power. But Republicans, led by ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), are stressing that those measures failed to address the censorship of conservatives.
“Big Tech is out to get conservatives,” the Republicans wrote in a news release about the plan Tuesday.
“Today, House Judiciary Republicans released their agenda to hold Big Tech accountable. This agenda presents specific proposals that will speed up and strengthen antitrust enforcement, hold Big Tech accountable for its censorship, and increase transparency around Big Tech’s decisions,” the lawmakers added.
As outlined in the opening paragraph of the news release, the plan centers on increasing speed, accountability, and transparency as it pertains to Big Tech oversight and enforcement.
In an effort to “break up Big Tech,” the lawmakers suggest that cases concerning antitrust laws should be given expedited trial consideration and be permitted to directly appeal to the Supreme Court, rather than going through a lengthy appellate process.
Also, the lawmakers argue that state attorneys general should be allowed to utilize “the same fast-track procedures available to the federal government so that they will be on equal footing in their cases.”
As it pertains to “hold[ing] Big Tech accountable,” the Republicans suggest overhauling tech companies’ liability shield as outlined in Section 230, claiming that platforms have “exploited this protection to make subjective content moderation decisions, often in a manner harmful to conservative voices.”
And Americans who feel they have been the subject of unlawful censorship ought to be granted the statutory basis to “directly challenge Big Tech in court,” the lawmakers assert.
To increase transparency in Big Tech, the Republicans propose that “content moderation decisions and censorship … be listed, with specificity and particularity, on a publicly available website.”
Jordan told the Washington Examiner that “Big Tech has targeted conservatives for far too long” and that “House Judiciary Republicans have had enough.”
“We believe that this agenda will serve as the Republican platform to take on Big Tech going forward and unite our party to reject Big Tech’s ‘cancel culture’ practices,” he added.