WSJ – Hawley’s Bad Idea to Protect Speech

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I helped write Section 230. It remains vital to a free and open internet.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) has a plan to stop Google, Facebook and Twitter from engaging in viewpoint discrimination. He proposes legislation under which the tech giants would have to prove to the federal government every two years, by “clear and convincing evidence,” that they do not promote some political views while suppressing others. The objective is worthy, but the method is misguided.

Mr. Hawley’s approach seems straightforward. His bill focuses on the largest websites. It attempts to define “political neutrality” and hold those websites to it. Enforcement would involve both a carrot and a stick. If a web platform can prove it is politically neutral, it would maintain its protection under current law from liability for third-party content appearing on its site. If it cannot, it would lose that protection.

[read more at the Wall Street Journal]