NetChoice Condemns Introduction of Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology (SMART) Act

Today, NetChoice raised concerns with new legislation introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), the Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology (SMART) Act.

The bill would reduce the usefulness of social media platforms by banning features like autoplay and automatic scrolling. Ironically, a visitor to Sen. Hawley’s own website will see an autoplay video.

“This bill would reduce the power of consumers to make decisions for themselves and give that power to the government,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice. “It’s our role to decide what online services and tools we use, not the government’s.”

The bill would also grant the FTC and HHS power to ban social media practices.

“The goal of this bill is to make being online a less enjoyable experience — which polling reveals as something the American people oppose.”

“This bill gives the federal government the power to shut down sites and services it doesn’t like, with little-to-no recourse,” continued Szabo. “Consumers have an abundance of tools that let them control their online experiences. Sen. Hawley’s legislation would expand governmental control over the internet.”

Unpopular Internet Policies Could Cost Democrats the White House

NetChoice Medium

The 2020 election will be tight and every vote counts. So it’s surprising to see Democratic candidates making calls to regulate free speech and online platforms — policy proposals that Americans overwhelmingly oppose, and policies that could cost Democrats the White House.

This year some Democrats are calling to make it harder for online services to host our comments and pictures. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has even gone so far as to say that America’s most successful tech companies should be broken up.

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Calling Section 230 a “big tech handout” is a lie. Here’s why.

Orange County Register

Unless you follow tech policy debates, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is a bit of an old, unheard-of law. But now it’s one worth talking about, especially since it has recently been brandished as a “handout to big tech” by the likes of Senators Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who are trying to get rid of it altogether.

Other famous conservatives, including firebrands Tucker Carlson and Charlie Kirk, seem to agree. But removing Section 230 wouldn’t be very conservative at all — it would only extend the presence of government into places it doesn’t belong. Nevertheless, it seems these many conservatives are digging in their heels because they want Section 230 to sound like evil corporate welfare for some of America’s greediest monopolies. As it turns out, it really isn’t.

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NetChoice Opposes Introduction of Stop Censorship Act

Today, Reps. Gosar (R-AZ), Meadows (R-NC), and King (R-IA) introduced the Stop Censorship Act. The bill would make platforms liable for all content if they remove “legal but otherwise objectionable” content, effectively banning platforms from removing extreme political content and misinformation.

“This bill effectively forces platforms to host harmful content like misinformation, radicalization, deep fakes, and racism.” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel of NetChoice.

“Even though the bill claims to allow moderation of adult content, spam, and bots, without text it’s likely these exemptions won’t allow for necessary content moderation that keeps consumers safe online.” 

“The bill would prevent platforms from removing extreme content including from groups that support white supremacism and antisemitism.”

“This bill won’t help conservatives but would undermine conservative values by giving government greater control over online speech.”

Outraged Politicians and Official Statistics Miss the Benefits of Tech

Reason Magazine

“Thanks to large online platforms, for less than $10, a small business can reach thousands of potential customers and target them more accurately than ever,” Carl Szabo of NetChoice, a trade association of e-commerce businesses, testified to the House Judiciary Committee last week. Szabo highlighted the story of a woodworker in Albany, New York, who can now sell his craft to buyers around the country thanks to Etsy.

PragerU is an unpersuasive victim of Big Tech bias against the right

American Enterprise Institute

Consider: To believe YouTube is engaged in a conspiracy to disappear conservative content, one also has to think that it’s trying to hide that conspiracy by suppressing liberal content even harder with popular channel such as Huffington Post, the Daily Show, and Young Turks experiencing far more of their content restricted, according to tech trade association NetChoice. PragerU’s problems with YouTube seem so far to be yet another example of Big Tech bias where the more you dig, the less you find. 

NetChoice Testimony for Senate Judiciary Hearing "Google and Censorship Through Search Engines"

NetChoice Testimony for Senate Judiciary Hearing “Google and Censorship Through Search Engines”

Will ‘Big Tech Censorship’ Split the Republican Party Going Into 2020?

Inside Sources

Carl Szabo, policy counsel for the Big Tech lobbying firm NetChoice, told InsideSources that even though the conservative education organization PragerU complains about being censored for its conservative ideas, YouTube has restricted only 12 percent of PragerU’s videos, while restricting a whopping 71 percent of progressive, socialist-leaning group, the Young Turks. Szabo also said PragerU’s subscriber base continues to grow at an “exponential rate.”

“This is a defining time for conservatives in determining where they truly stand on limited government and free markets,” he said. “Conservatives should stop complaining about victimhood and just start focusing on 2020.”

Social Media Has Enabled People-Driven Politics, So Why Regulate It?

Daily Caller

Throughout history, established interests worry whenever more power is given to the people. When Guttenberg unveiled the printing press it empowered “commoners” with a new way to disseminate information and ideas. Of course the Crown and Church worried about their loss of control which ultimately led to new religions and emerging democracies.

Social media is the modern-day printing press. Empowering people across the world to challenge the established powers that be. We wouldn’t have had movements like the Arab Spring, Occupy, MeToo, BlackLivesMatter, Haiti relief, or even the Ice Bucket Challenge were it not for social media connecting citizens.

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