The Verge Republicans dig into Facebook and Twitter over concerns of ‘conservative bias’

The Verge Republicans dig into Facebook and Twitter over concerns of ‘conservative bias’

“If we prevent online platforms from removing objectionable content, we risk turning online platforms into 8-Chan,” said Carl Szabo, general counsel for NetChoice. “Section 230 was specifically created to enable private platforms to remove offensive content.”

Politico Morning Tech - Stifling free speech

Politico Morning Tech – Stifling free speech

Not all conservatives are happy with the theme. Billy Easley, a senior tech policy analyst for the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, is warning the committee against infringing on free speech. “Senator Cruz is right: tech companies ought to provide an open platform for speech across the political and ideological spectrum,” he said in a statement. “But asking the government to police online speech — either through direct action or by cajoling private firms — sets a dangerous precedent.” Carl Szabo, vice president for right-leaning trade group NetChoice, called it “inconsistent for conservatives to support the free speech rights of businesses” while opposing it for “private platforms when moderating content they host.”

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FIRST IN MT: TALK 230 TO ME — E-commerce trade group NetChoice is ramping up its defense of a law that shields companies like Google and Facebook from lawsuits over content on their platforms. The new initiative, called Protect Online Voices, is part of the right-leaning association’s effort to challenge critics who argue tech firms no longer deserve the broad immunity afforded by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The campaign has debuted as a website with information about the law and statements from advocacy groups and lawmakers who back Section 230, including Democrats Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (Calif). It will supplement lobbying that NetChoice and other groups already have underway on the Hill.

The internet industry is hustling to defend Section 230 after Congress passed a law last year making websites liable for facilitating sex trafficking. Both Democrats and Republicans have flirted with additional changes to the law to, for instance, make internet companies more accountable for online opioid sales or restrict them from censoring political speech. Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel at NetChoice, argues that the law is what empowers companies to remove problematic material in the first place. “Before we consider doing anything to undermine that, I think it’s important for people to know what it is,” he said.

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“This is a great opportunity to show the FTC really is the premiere privacy cop on the beat,” said Carl Szabo, who worked on privacy issues at the FTC in the early 2000s and is now vice president of the tech trade group NetChoice.

The commission can “show not only other agencies and states but the rest of the world that the U.S. takes privacy seriously, and that the American approach works,” he said.

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“Conservatives must keep to their principles and respect that online platforms are private businesses not public utilities,” said Carl Szabo, vice president at e-commerce trade group NetChoice.

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Carl Szabo, the general counsel for NetChoice, a trade group representing internet companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter, said on Tuesday that Nunes’s case is unlikely to succeed.

“This lawsuit underscores the importance of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which empowers platforms to host content and discussions of our elected officials — whether our elected officials like it or not,” Szabo said in a statement.

“Twitter has been an amazing forum for discussing — and yes, criticizing — our public officials, hopefully this lawsuit doesn’t undermine that. The ability to criticize our public officials is core to our American principles.”

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Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice, an advocacy group for the tech industry, said in a statement he hoped the lawsuit would not undermine internet forums for talking about public officials.

“This suit’s survival is unlikely as the ability to criticize and mock our public officials is well settled court doctrine,” Szabo said.

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“Sen. Warren is wrong in her assertion that tech companies lack competition,” said Carl Szabo, vice president of the trade group NetChoice that lists both Facebook and Google as members. “Never before have consumers had access to more goods, services, and opportunities online.”

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44 smaller outlets also quoted NetChoice.

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Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel of NetChoice, a group that represents the tech industry, said in an email that platforms make their privacy rules clear in user agreements.

Facebook’s Terms say, ‘You own the content you create and share on Facebook and the other Facebook Products you use, and nothing in these Terms takes away the rights you have to your own content,’” Szabo said in an email.

“When customers choose to trade their information for services, whether discounts at a supermarket or access to free online services, conservatives should respect that agreement. This transaction is at the heart of property rights and contracts law.”

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“I understand the frustration about the issue, of being concerned that my voice is being de-prioritized,” said Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel for the internet freedom group NetChoice. “But at the same time undermining our conservative values is risky business, because once you hand over this power to the government, you may not like what you get.”