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The PACT ACT Would Lead to Removal of Free Speech Online

WASHINGTON — This week U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and John Thune (R-SD) reintroduced the Internet Platform Accountability and Consumer Transparency (Internet PACT) Act, a bill that would open up websites that host user-created content to widespread civil liability and force them to publish specifics on how they make content moderation decisions.

“The PACT Act is not the moderate proposal it claims to be. By subjecting websites to federal civil liability, the bill would pressure websites to remove legitimate speech under a better-safe-than-sorry approach to avoid liability,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice. “As a result, the law undermines free speech online, and would make concerns about over-removal of legal content worse.”

“The unintended consequences of the PACT Act show us that if conservatives want to protect free speech online, amending or repealing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act will backfire and mean more constitutionally-protected speech is removed from the internet.”

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