Some House Republicans are trying to have it both ways in their battle with social media companies. They want America’s leading technology businesses to engage in far less moderation for certain kinds of content, but far more moderation for others. They want these companies to make the “right” decisions in the “right” circumstances every time, but the proposals they offer would almost certainly make the internet a far worse place for all.
Last month, Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee released a package of draft bills that would greatly limit the scope of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act—which allows companies to implement their own content moderation policies while also shielding them from liability for user-generated content—and force social media platforms to moderate content far more extensively than they currently do. If enacted, these bills would force platforms to follow the will of government bureaucrats or risk facing potentially devastating liability.