President Donald Trump said Thursday during the White House social media summit that Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) has a “very important” bill to stop censorship of conservatives on the Internet.
During the White House’s summit on social media, President Trump praised Sen. Hawley’s legislation, which would crack down on social media censorship.
Sen. Josh Hawley said that if social media companies wish to keep their Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act legal immunity, they should stop censoring conservative and alternative voices on the Internet.
Sen. Josh Hawley recently introduced the Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act, which would audit social media companies for bias, and if regulators found bias in either the big tech companies’ algorithm or content moderation process, those companies would lose their Section 230 immunity.
President Trump said the Senator is pushing “very important legislation because we have to do something about what’s happening.”
Just came from the White House Social Media Summit where I had chance to stand alongside @realDonaldTrump and talk about why we need to stop Big Tech from discriminating against conservatives #Section230 #SocialMediaSummit pic.twitter.com/LJ0Ig7GWDo
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) July 11, 2019
The Missouri conservative said that social media companies have a government granted special immunity through Section 230 which allows them to censor without significant legal recourse. Hawley said that if these companies want to keep their “special deal,” they need to stop censoring conservatives. Hawley explained:
That’s why we need to step up now, and I think we need to say to them here’s the deal: Google, Facebook, Twitter, they’ve got these special deals from government, they’ve got a special giveaway from government, they’re treated unlike anybody else. If they want to keep their special deal here’s the bargain: they have to quit discriminating against conservatives.
Trump’s praise for Hawley’s legislation arises as a poll released Thursday found that nearly a majority of American voters, or 48 percent, backed the senator’s Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act. A majority of Republicans and Independents support the legislation, while 46 percent of Democrats favor the bill.
President Trump also called for his administration to look for “all regulatory and legislative solutions” to protect free speech.
Sen. Hawley said that, despite the “fake media,” Americans know that social media companies continue to censor conservatives. He explained:
The media says, the establishment media, the fake media, they say there’s no censorship on social media; that’s all made up, that’s all fake. You and I know that that’s not true. You and I know the truth is that the social media giants would love to shut us down, they would love to shut us up, they want to shut him [Trump] up more than anything else, and we can’t let them.
They have to abide by the same principles of free speech and the First Amendment that this country embraces, that we love and call our own, and I don’t think it’s too much to ask for these huge tech platforms who have gotten rich off our information, off of our data, off of everything we’ve given them, they’ve gotten rich off of it, they’ve gotten rich off of their special privileges.
The Missouri Republican said that if big tech wants to keep their special Section 230 immunity, “They shouldn’t discriminate; they shouldn’t censor, they shouldn’t shut us down.”