Techno Blender
Digitally Yours.

GOP Bill Would Bar Government From Pushing Internet Platforms to Block Lawful Speech

0 13


WASHINGTON—Senior House Republicans introduced legislation Thursday to ban federal employees from pressuring internet platforms to suppress lawful speech, in one of their first steps to advance a central initiative of the newly empowered GOP leadership.

The bill addresses what its supporters claim to be efforts by the Biden administration to influence content on social-media platforms, including attempts to block speech on Covid-19 vaccines that runs counter to White House policy. It would bar federal employees from ordering or advocating for “the removal or suppression of lawful speech” from internet platforms. 

“Our bill stops the federal government from pressuring social-media companies to silence Americans expressing views online,” said Rep.

James Comer

(R., Ky.), chairman of the House Oversight Committee. Mr. Comer is sponsoring the bill along with Reps.

Jim Jordan

(R., Ohio) and

Cathy McMorris Rodgers

(R., Wash.), who lead the Judiciary and Energy & Commerce committees, respectively. 

The bill follows the House vote Tuesday, over Democrats’ opposition, to launch a new Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government that is expected to target alleged government meddling in social media, among other issues.

The White House declined to comment on the bill. 

The White House previously dismissed the new House subcommittee as a partisan political stunt. While the bill introduced Thursday could advance in the Republican-majority House, it is likely to stall out in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Republicans have seized on recently released emails showing White House officials demanding in 2021 that social-media executives reduce the reach of content questioning the efficacy and safety of Covid vaccines. 

The emails were made public as part of a lawsuit by Republican attorneys general in Missouri and Louisiana challenging what they termed the Biden administration’s “open and explicit censorship programs.” Lawyers for the administration have said the lawsuit lacks plausible allegations of coercion.  

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

What do you expect to come from the Republican legislation on free speech? Join the conversation below.

The vaccination debate is one example of Democrats and Republicans differing on their approach to the government’s proper role in overseeing social media. Republicans want to counter a perceived bias against promoting conservative viewpoints online. Democrats see social-media companies as too lax in fighting harmful content and want to place more legal responsibility on the companies. 

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed Wednesday, President Biden asked Congress to work on bipartisan legislation forcing tech companies “to take responsibility for the content they spread and the algorithms they use.”  

“We’ve heard a lot of talk about creating committees,” Mr. Biden wrote, in an apparent reference to the new House panel. “It’s time to walk the walk and get something done.” 

Matt Schruers, president of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, a tech industry trade group, has said that the new congressional scrutiny could be dangerous if it results in “another form of pressure on companies to insert government where it doesn’t belong—into private companies’ decisions on what information to publish or not publish.”

The Republicans’ bill wouldn’t apply to tech platforms’ independent content moderation decisions, a House Oversight Committee aide said. In addition to barring federal employees from pressuring internet platforms to remove legal content, the bill would ban federal employees from advocating for removal or restrictions of social-media accounts, or for posts to be labeled with a disclaimer. 

Republicans are expected to follow the bill’s introduction with hearings and investigations, including into the White House’s push to influence social-media content on Covid vaccines. The White House has said its goal is to fight misleading or inaccurate information. It would apply to executive branch employees, but not members of Congress or their staff. 

Write to Ryan Tracy at [email protected]

Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8


WASHINGTON—Senior House Republicans introduced legislation Thursday to ban federal employees from pressuring internet platforms to suppress lawful speech, in one of their first steps to advance a central initiative of the newly empowered GOP leadership.

The bill addresses what its supporters claim to be efforts by the Biden administration to influence content on social-media platforms, including attempts to block speech on Covid-19 vaccines that runs counter to White House policy. It would bar federal employees from ordering or advocating for “the removal or suppression of lawful speech” from internet platforms. 

“Our bill stops the federal government from pressuring social-media companies to silence Americans expressing views online,” said Rep.

James Comer

(R., Ky.), chairman of the House Oversight Committee. Mr. Comer is sponsoring the bill along with Reps.

Jim Jordan

(R., Ohio) and

Cathy McMorris Rodgers

(R., Wash.), who lead the Judiciary and Energy & Commerce committees, respectively. 

The bill follows the House vote Tuesday, over Democrats’ opposition, to launch a new Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government that is expected to target alleged government meddling in social media, among other issues.

The White House declined to comment on the bill. 

The White House previously dismissed the new House subcommittee as a partisan political stunt. While the bill introduced Thursday could advance in the Republican-majority House, it is likely to stall out in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Republicans have seized on recently released emails showing White House officials demanding in 2021 that social-media executives reduce the reach of content questioning the efficacy and safety of Covid vaccines. 

The emails were made public as part of a lawsuit by Republican attorneys general in Missouri and Louisiana challenging what they termed the Biden administration’s “open and explicit censorship programs.” Lawyers for the administration have said the lawsuit lacks plausible allegations of coercion.  

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

What do you expect to come from the Republican legislation on free speech? Join the conversation below.

The vaccination debate is one example of Democrats and Republicans differing on their approach to the government’s proper role in overseeing social media. Republicans want to counter a perceived bias against promoting conservative viewpoints online. Democrats see social-media companies as too lax in fighting harmful content and want to place more legal responsibility on the companies. 

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed Wednesday, President Biden asked Congress to work on bipartisan legislation forcing tech companies “to take responsibility for the content they spread and the algorithms they use.”  

“We’ve heard a lot of talk about creating committees,” Mr. Biden wrote, in an apparent reference to the new House panel. “It’s time to walk the walk and get something done.” 

Matt Schruers, president of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, a tech industry trade group, has said that the new congressional scrutiny could be dangerous if it results in “another form of pressure on companies to insert government where it doesn’t belong—into private companies’ decisions on what information to publish or not publish.”

The Republicans’ bill wouldn’t apply to tech platforms’ independent content moderation decisions, a House Oversight Committee aide said. In addition to barring federal employees from pressuring internet platforms to remove legal content, the bill would ban federal employees from advocating for removal or restrictions of social-media accounts, or for posts to be labeled with a disclaimer. 

Republicans are expected to follow the bill’s introduction with hearings and investigations, including into the White House’s push to influence social-media content on Covid vaccines. The White House has said its goal is to fight misleading or inaccurate information. It would apply to executive branch employees, but not members of Congress or their staff. 

Write to Ryan Tracy at [email protected]

Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Techno Blender is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a comment