August 27, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The conservative Media Research Center (MRC) is calling on concerned Americans to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging it to review a contentious portion of federal law at the heart of the battle over free speech online.
Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act immunizes websites from being held liable for the third-party content they host, such as posts or tweets by social media users. This provision has been credited with helping the internet thrive, and in recent years, it has been seen as a potential means of addressing the increasing control internet platforms exert over right-of-center content.
The MRC’s Free Speech Alliance (of which LifeSiteNews is a member) is currently working on gathering as many public comments to the FCC as possible urging the commission to review how Section 230 is currently interpreted and applied.
“Big Tech is currently immune from lawsuits regarding censorship due to a small part of a law from the mid-1990s,” reads the landing page where readers can submit comments. “Section 230 protects the tech giants from being sued for their content, and censorship of that content.”
MRC calls an FCC review the “first step in holding Big Tech accountable” but warns, “We’re not the only ones submitting comments. Big Tech is strongly opposed to any changes to their current sweetheart deal. Their friends on the left are leaving comments and doing everything they can to oppose a rule change.”
The effort is meant to help support an executive order President Donald Trump signed in May, aimed at tweaking how federal agencies interpret and enforce Section 230. The order essentially directs the FCC to propose an administrative rule that would “spell out what it means for the tech giants to carry out their takedown policies ‘in good faith,’” national security attorney Stewart Baker explained.
“It is critical for the survival of the conservative movement that we unite in defense of our right to express ourselves online without threat of being censored by the social media giants,” MRC president Brent Bozell said. “Protecting our freedom of speech is something that should not only be important to conservatives, but to all Americans. Facebook, Twitter and Google/Youtube own the most widely used online platforms for speech in the world. Facebook, Twitter, and Google/Youtube have full control over what we say, hear, write, and read. It is immensely important that these platforms remain neutral.”
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This effort is a response to numerous ongoing controversies over suppression and discrimination that have only intensified in recent months against conservative content across Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
From Facebook, two whistleblowers came forward recently to attest that the platform aggressively discriminates against conservatives on a global scale for the purpose of influencing election outcomes.
One provided footage of content moderators openly discussing how they would like to delete “every Donald Trump post I see on the timeline” and “delete all Republicans … for terrorism” if they so much as post a photo “wearing a MAGA hat.” Cognizant service delivery manager Demian Gordon can also be seen saying he would not hold staff accountable for taking down Trump posts on the grounds that they “gotta get the Cheeto (Trump) out of the office.”
The other described witnessing moderators “deleting on average 300 posts or actioning 300 posts a day” in a way “that just targeted conservatives or favored liberals,” with personnel equating Trump supporters with violent hate groups, while expressly making an exception for overtly-hateful posts by the moderators’ LGBT allies in the name of supporting Pride Month.
Twitter set off a firestorm in May when it placed a “fact-check” on a Trump tweet pertaining to the fraud potential of mail-in voting, then censored another Trump tweet warning that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” pertaining to the Minneapolis riots, for supposedly “glorifying violence.”
As for YouTube and its parent company, numerous leaked private conversations shows that Google is willing to enforce its far-left ideology through its ostensibly neutral services and platforms. Psychologist and technology researcher Dr. Robert Epstein warns that Google could use its vast power over search results for news and video to shift as much as a tenth of the vote toward former vice president Joe Biden in the fall’s presidential election.