In a recent op-ed at the New York Post, House Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon called for the government to limit how America’s tech companies moderate speech online. While we may share frustration over the choices tech companies make, Republicans should be unified against turning Big Government into the speech police – as we saw with the Biden administration’s Disinformation Governance Board.
While McMorris Rodgers argues that Section 230 is the reason for moderation frustrating some conservatives, this is incorrect. The First Amendment allows platforms to moderate content while Section 230 prevents platforms from being sued for speech that isn’t their own. Ironically, if Section 230 protections are weakened, companies would likely be forced to limit user speech.
McMorris Rodgers suggests that tech companies aren’t good arbiters of truth. That’s true. It would be absurd to suggest otherwise. However, as conservatives, we know that the government would be even worse at effectively determining truth.
I respect McMorris Rodgers’ leadership a great deal. I used to be her intern! But we should hesitate when handing new reins to the federal government. We are unlikely to see them returned to us.