Washington, D.C. – Today, NetChoice commended the Trump Administration for including Article 19.17 in the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA). The USMCA contains language from the Communications Decency Act that allows online platforms to engage in good faith content moderation efforts without being subjected to legal liability.
“When it comes to our digital economy, USMCA puts America first,” said Steve DelBianco, President of NetChoice. “Online platform protections make the United States a world leader in tech and innovation, Canada and Mexico will surely benefit from emulating these platform protections.”
Bartlett Cleland, General Counsel and Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
Jesse Blumenthal, Director of Technology and Innovation at the Charles Koch Institute
Phil Kerpen, President of American Commitment
Seton Motley, President of Less Government
December 5th, 2018
Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2226
45 Independence Ave SW
Washington, DC 20515
Lunch will be provided.
Some conservatives are expressing concern that online social media platforms are using content moderation as an excuse to suppress conservative news and views.
Former Attorney General Sessions convened a meeting of state Attorneys General on September 25 to discuss what the Department of Justice could do about political bias in content moderation.
On the other hand, many conservatives believe using government to regulate online content moderation clashes with core conservative principles and with the first amendment.
Conservatives note that Administration pressure on platforms today could backfire when a future Democratic president uses those same tactics against conservative news and views.
*This event is considered a widely attended event by Congressional ethics rules*
— Industry rebuttal: “When President Trump says he would regulate online platforms for alleged anti-conservative bias, he really means he would suppress free expression,” NetChoice president Steve DelBianco said in a statement. “Government suppression of negative news and views about the President would blatantly violate the constitution.” And the libertarian TechFreedom group tweeted that “Principled conservatives and liberals should unite against Trump’s attempts to create a Fairness Doctrine for the Internet as a sword for government meddling in social media.”
Washington, D.C. – Today, NetChoice warned President Trump that heavy-handed regulations on tech platforms is out-of-step with his electorate.
“When President Trump says he would regulate online platforms for alleged anti-conservative bias, he really means he would suppress free expression,” said Steve DelBianco, President of NetChoice. “Government suppression of negative news and views about the President would blatantly violate the constitution.”
“Other policy proposals being thrown out by beltway pundits and think tanks are even more unpopular,” continued DelBianco. “Whether it’s competition and antitrust, advertising or parental controls, Americans overwhelmingly oppose government intervention in tech. 90% of Americans don’t think the government should block tech company acquisitions and 95% think the government should not focus on trying to break them up.”
NetChoice’s comments follow statements made by President Trump during a press briefing on the results of yesterday’s Midterm Election.
Learn more about NetChoice’s recent poll at netchoice.org/techlashpoll.
Our data shows that Americans see the growth of online platforms has had a positive impact on the economy. Online platforms have not only allowed businesses of every size to reach potential customers nationwide, but also to advertise to them intelligently based so that they can reach the sort of customers more likely to buy their products. For many businesses, this has enabled them to thrive rather than just survive.
Consumers have benefitted too. Greater competition, innovation, and a reduction in the information gap has all been enabled by online platforms. With their help, an ideal purchase is only a click away.
58% of Americans, and 73% of those between 18 and 24 years old, say online platforms helped them discover a small business they had not previously known.
Online platforms haven’t just benefited commerce, either. 72% of Americans said that online platforms have enabled them to be in better touch with their community.
Over three quarters of Americans (77%) believe that the ability to place digital ads on these platforms is valuable to small businesses. This benefit extends to the wider economy too, with 70% of Americans believing that digital advertising is valuable to the national economy.
Evidently, Americans value their access to online platforms and the advertising services they provide. Politicians should avoid passing regulations that risk undermining every the benefits of the internet at every layer of society – from how individuals interact with their local community, to the viability of small businesses, to the wider economy.
Online platforms have become a vibrant and important component of our economy and society.
Carl Szabo, general counsel of the trade group NetChoice, added: “Conservative values are centered around the idea that businesses should be allowed to do what they think is best for their customers, and that’s exactly what these companies are doing.”
Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel of the trade association NetChoice, said that his fellow conservatives’ push for more oversight of digital platforms is ill-conceived.
“Conservative values are centered around the idea that businesses should be allowed to do what they think is best for their customers, and that’s exactly what these companies are doing,” said Szabo. Facebook and Google are members of NetChoice.