Attorney General Steve Marshall (R-AL) is continuing his leadership in calling on Congress to regulate tech monopolies’ control over the flow of information and political discourse in America.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Marshall commented on Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s testimony that day to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. This comes after Twitter blocked the distribution of bombshell reports, beginning with the New York Post, regarding the Biden family’s foreign business dealings. The New York Post’s Twitter account has been locked for two weeks and counting.
In calling for change to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, Marshall remarked, “Twitter is not the Ministry of Truth. It should concern us all when a platform that holds such tremendous power over information uses that power in contradiction of the principles of free speech and freedom of the press.”
Twitter is not the Ministry of Truth. It should concern us all when a platform that holds such tremendous power over information uses that power in contradiction of the principles of free speech and freedom of the press. It is time to change #Section230. https://t.co/jzVVmyBg3G
— AG Steve Marshall (@AGSteveMarshall) October 28, 2020
In a statement to Yellowhammer News on Wednesday afternoon, Marshall expounded on the topic in strong terms.
“In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that there is a need to reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996,” Alabama’s Republican attorney general advised. “The egregious actions taken two weeks ago by Twitter and, to a lesser extent, Facebook to suppress a news report of significant public interest—along with speech about it—published in one of our country’s oldest and most-widely-read newspapers in the run-up to a presidential election, has only made the need for reform more evident than ever.”
“Big Tech holds tremendous power over information and brazenly wields that power according to its social and political biases,” he continued. “Indeed, social-media platforms oftentimes appear less guided by the principles of American democracy—such as free speech and press—than by the principles of Orwell’s Ministry of Truth: amplify favored voices and viewpoints, censor disfavored voices and viewpoints.”
Marshall noted, “I agree with Justice Thomas’s recent assessment that courts have expanded Section 230 ‘beyond the natural reading of the [statutory] text,’ and support the recent announcement by Chairman Pai that the Federal Communications Commissions will undertake rulemaking to clarify the meaning of Section 230. But there are issues inherent in Section 230 that can only be fully cured by legislative action.”
“At today’s hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee, Senator Ted Cruz opined that Facebook, Google, and Twitter ‘collectively pose … the single greatest threat to free speech in America, and the greatest threat we have to free and fair elections.’ I concur and urge Congress to take action,” he concluded.
Marshall also published a must-read op-ed in Real Clear Policy on this same issue, calling Twitter’s and Facebook’s censorship of the New York Post’s reporting “un-American.”
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn