National Religious Broadcasters Urges Congressional Review of Big Tech Legal Protections

Facebook co-founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill April 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. This is the second day of testimony before Congress by Zuckerberg, 33, after it was reported that 87 …
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The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), a non-partisan association of Christian communicators, urged Congress to review Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects the Silicon Valley Masters of the Universe, following continuous censorship of conservative and Christian accounts.

“With growing evidence of censorship of Christian and conservative viewpoints on social media platforms – and after Big Tech leaders failed to implement its own free speech charter – National Religious Broadcasters is urging a ‘careful’ congressional review of the ‘Good Samaritan’ protections in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act,” announced NRB in a press release. “The call for hearings comes after Big Tech leaders failed to respond to repeated requests from NRB to craft a free speech charter protecting users’ viewpoints while still permitting them to combat obscenity, incitements to violence, and other misuses of their platforms.”

In a statement, NRB president Dr. Jerry A. Johnson declared, “It is unacceptable for technology giants to discriminate by algorithmic bias or human will against users just because their viewpoints are not congruent with ideas popular in Silicon Valley.”

“This problem deserves scrutiny and thoughtful consideration from the people’s representatives, so I respectfully request hearings for that purpose,” Johnson continued. “Rather than some other possibly heavy-handed government interventions that have been suggested – for example, any type of Fairness Doctrine for the internet would be unconscionable – I suggest that it is time for Congress to explore further what may be the costs and benefits of removing or conditionally suspending Section 230’s extra layer of government-granted content moderation protection for ubiquitous platforms suspected of acting in bad faith.”

Johnson went on to cite a temporary ban of an NRB member’s Facebook page for Christian content which was posted years ago as one reason why he’s becoming increasingly concerned.

“That the ban happened at all illustrates the pattern of censorship of Christian and conservative viewpoints by Facebook, which the company has failed to acknowledge and apologize for — a pattern shared by other Big Tech platforms,” Johnson proclaimed. “How many similar bans have happened to Christians without the profile of Franklin Graham who have never received their apology?”

NRB claimed in its press release that the association will “be seeking congressional support for hearings on Section 230 and possible solutions to the problem of online censorship of viewpoints not favored by progressive Silicon Valley,” over the next few weeks.

As explained by Breitbart Tech Senior Reporter Allum Bokhari in 2018, the “distinction between platform and publisher is critical to the ongoing debate over tech regulation.”

“As platforms, tech companies are granted special legal immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act,” Bokhari noted. “This law exempts them from legal liability for user-generated content.”

Major social networks frequently censor conservative and Christian content, most notably content which is pro-life.

This week, the Radiance Foundation, a pro-life organization founded by a black American, asked social networks to “Stop Jim Crow’ing us,” after experiencing censorship from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

In October, Facebook also censored a pro-life organization’s advertisements for containing footage of ultrasounds and “photos of babies who survived premature births,” while just days later, Facebook banned an advertisement from the same organization which promoted Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

In 2018, Facebook blocked links to a crowdfunding website for a movie about Roe v. Wade, and in 2017, Twitter blocked pro-life advertisements– even temporarily banning a pro-life activist with Down Syndrome for posting pro-life material.

In February 2018, Google’s YouTube restricted a video about Planned Parenthood published by Dennis Prager’s PragerU, and in July, Facebook censored a gospel music group’s video about God.

Charlie Nash is a reporter for Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington, or like his page at Facebook.


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