House Republicans want to limit the Biden Administration’s ability to facilitate social media censorship. They are trying to weaken federal employees who use their position to influence actions of tech companies.
The Protecting Speech from Government Interference Act is designed to stop the government from outsourcing free speech violations via tech platforms. It creates new penalties and prohibitions for federal employees who encourage censorship.
As more people use tech platforms to share and collect information, Republicans are concerned that Democrats could bully social media companies to censor people online. Reps. James Comer from Kentucky, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Washington, and Jim Jordan, Ohio, are the authors of the bill. They represent the top Republicans in the House Oversight and Reform, Judiciary, Energy and Commerce Committees.
“The Biden Administration is using the strong hand of government in order to press social media companies into restricting Americans’ freedom speech and news sharing on their platforms,” Mr. Comer stated Wednesday. “From COVID-19 to Hunter Biden, Biden administration officials are quick to label facts that don’t fit their narrative as disinformation and then pressure social media companies to suppress content on their platforms.”
The bill aims to stop federal officials from advocating for any private entity to censor or discourage speech. According to the authors of the bill, the penalty for violating it includes a combination civil fines as well suspensions from federal services consistent with existing penalties for federal officials who engage in political activity while in government.
” Tech platforms are the new town square. Any attempt to remove people from these spaces solely for their refusal to follow the woke liberal agenda, Ms. Rodgers stated in a statement.
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The Federal officials pushing tech companies to influence digital discourse are well documented. Last year, then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters the administration was “regularly making sure social media platforms are aware of the latest narratives dangerous to public health.”
In August, Alex Berenson wrote internal Twitter communications that he claimed showed Biden’s administration pushing for the platform to fire him. This was before the company implemented a ban.
The Twitter messages show employees talking about a meeting they had with President Biden’s staff. One employee stated that the White House asked him a difficult question regarding why Berenson hadn’t been expelled yet. Mr. Berenson, a prominent critic of America’s COVID-19 response, said he obtained the internal communications in a lawsuit filed over his Twitter suspension.
More recent, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said to Joe Rogan that Facebook had curtailed the spread of negative stories involving Hunter Biden prior to the 2020 elections. This was in response to a general FBI warning regarding Russian propaganda.
The FBI stated later that it provided foreign threat indicators for tech platforms and companies, but the bureau doesn’t have the power to request or instruct companies to act. Meta, Facebook’s parent, dismissed the comments of its CEO and stated that the FBI alert was generic in nature and did not contain any specific information about Hunter Biden .
Recent details on the private pressure campaign by the federal government against social media companies could be available soon. GOP Senators. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa, and Ron Johnson, Wisconsin asked for records about the government’s contacts with Facebook. They wrote earlier this week to Attorney general Merrick Garland (and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray.
Twitter, Facebook and other companies aren’t the only ones hearing from government. A number of tech companies had previously admitted to meeting with federal and national security agencies prior to the 2020 elections. Representatives from Facebook, Google and Twitter as well as Microsoft, Reddit (via Verizon), Pinterest, Reddit, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Microsoft, Pinterest, Reddit and Microsoft were among these executives.