Elder Patriot – Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is the chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution.
His subcommittee held a hearing earlier today the subject of which was Stifling Free Speech: Technological Censorship and the Public Discourse
Cruz is one of the few members of congress who seems to understand the existential threat to the preservation of our individual liberties, and by extension to our continued free republic, that the censorship of conservative discourse by a couple of tech giants represents.
He offered a three-part strategy to address, what is widely viewed as, Silicon Valley’s unwillingness to open up their platforms.
- Amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act that has resulted in what can only be described as an immunity for their content that exists within no other publishing platform.
Cruz explained: “If Big Tech wants to be partisan and political speakers it has that right, but it has no entitlement to a special immunity from liability under Section 230 that the New York Times doesn’t enjoy, that the Washington Post doesn’t enjoy, that nobody else enjoys except for Big Tech.”
- Apply long standing antitrust law to break up the largest social media and search engine that hold overwhelmingly dominant market positions.
“The second potential avenue for Big Tech is antitrust laws. Applying the antitrust laws is complicated but by any standard measure, the big tech companies are larger and more powerful than Standard Oil was when it was broken up. They’re larger and more powerful than AT&T when it was broken up. And if we have tech companies using their monopoly to censor political speech, I think that raises real antitrust issues.”
- Address cases of fraud and deception.
“The third potential avenue of remedy is under principles of fraud. Most users of Facebook, Twitter, Google, when they use those services they don’t envision they’re participating in a biased fora— they believe that when they speak the people that choose to follow them will hear what they say and there are distressing pieces of evidence that suggest that’s not the case.