Wednesday on Fox News Channel’s “The Ingraham Angle,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, made a case for his effort to strip Twitter and other tech giants of their lawsuit liability immunity that is not granted to traditional publishers like media outlets.
Hawley argued that immunity stymies free-market competition because it has allowed those tech giants to because “big, powerful and huge.”
“It would just take away the special deal, Laura, that they get from the government,” he said. “There’s a reason that Facebook, Twitter and Google have gotten do big, powerful and huge. It’s not because of free-market competition. It’s because of the lack of free-market competition — because the government has given them a special deal that Fox News doesn’t get, The New York Times doesn’t get. No traditional publisher gets. They are free from liability, free from suit. They’ve got a special immunity.”
“And here’s the thing — if they are going to act like regular publishers, if Twitter is going to editorialize about the president of the United States, then they ought to be treated like a regular publisher,” he continued. “That’s what my bill would do.”
The Missouri Republican also offered where Twitter has applied a double standard, which he attributed to political bias.
“[H]ow about the Chinese foreign ministry, Laura, who have been out there on Twitter, on social media, saying United States soldiers actually started the coronavirus, who have been out there saying Beijing has done nothing wrong with relation to COVID-19, that they took every available health measure? These are outright lies and falsehoods, and to impune the integrity of United States soldiers as the originators of the coronavirus — are you crazy? And yet, Twitter hasn’t had a word to say about any of those things. This is a joke. This is Twitter showing their political bias.”
“And again, if they want to editorialize like The New York Times, go right ahead — you can do that,” Hawley added. “It’s a free country. They’re a free company. But they shouldn’t get a special deal from government because of it.”
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor