Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) slammed Google-owned YouTube amid the platform’s contradictory statements on its censorship policies, calling on the platform to allow users to filter lawful content as they see fit instead of imposing top-down bans.
“You should not have civil immunity to remove lawful political speech,” said Rep. Gosar. “Instead, give users the option to filter the lawful content they may not like. Let users choose.”
Gosar tagged his tweet with “#StopTheCensorshipAct,” a reference to his House bill that would amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to limit the legal immunity currently granted to tech companies to remove “objectionable” content.
You should not have civil immunity to remove lawful political speech. Instead, give users the option to filter the lawful content they may not like. Let users choose. #StoptheCensorshipAct https://t.co/OxbRcSS5fW
— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) September 26, 2019
Gosar’s bill would amend Section 230 so that tech platforms only have immunity for the removal of material that is unlawful in the U.S. The only other kind of content moderation that would be protected under the Act would be the creation of content filters that users could voluntarily opt-in to.
Rep. Gosar’s comments came as YouTube offered contradictory statements on its censorship policies. In public remarks earlier this week, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki suggested that rule-violating content might remain on the platform if it contained information from politicians that is “really important for their constituents to see, or for other global leaders to see.”
However, an official YouTube social media account later said that the platform will always remove rule-violating content, and will make no exceptions for politicians.
We may make exceptions for material with sufficient “EDSA” educational, documentary / news, scientific or artistic value, for example commentary on speeches or debates, or analyses of current events. https://t.co/ibxHxZkoHt
— YouTubeInsider (@YouTubeInsider) September 26, 2019
The account did also say that material with sufficient “educational, documentary/news, scientific, or artistic value” may remain on the platform even if it violates the platform’s rules.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.