Jim Jordan Releases Yet ANOTHER Anti-230 Bill (Yes Another One)
from the guys,-stop-it dept
Okay, this post is going to be quick because, none of us should be wasting our time on this this week. We’ve now got FOUR new bills JUST THIS WEEK seeking to undermine Section 230 (and that’s after one more last week). Obviously, it appears that Congressional Republicans have taken to heart the Trump Administration’s demand to make attacking Section 230 and the internet companies a key focus between now and the election.
Not counting all the other anti-230, anti-open internet bills from earlier this year (and last year), in just the last week we had Senator Lindsey Graham introduce the Online Content Policy Modernization Act, which was actually just a mashup of the bill he cosponsored a few weeks earlier with Senators Roger Wicker and Marsha Blackburn, combined with a dangerous copyright bill, the CASE Act.
This week, we’ve already seen Senators Manchin and Cornyn release their “force companies to snitch on everyone” See Something Say Something Act, and then on Wednesday we had two more anti-230 bills, including Senator John Kennedy’s “Don’t Push My Buttons” Act and then in the House there was Reps. Sylvia Garcia and Ann Wagner pushing their version of the EARN IT Act, which would attack both Section 230 and encryption in one single blow.
And the latest is that Rep. Jim Jordan, famous for dodging ongoing accusations of a rather horrific scandal and for constantly screaming nonsense about “anti-conservative bias,” has thrown his hat in the ring with the “Protect Speech Act.” Jordan has been pretty vocal in a few Congressional hearings (often having nothing to do with content moderation) about how “big tech” is “censoring conservatives.” He goes back to the false claim that Google threatened to pull ads from The Federalist over the site’s conservative views, ignoring of course that plenty of others sites — including Techdirt — have dealt with the same issue repeatedly.
Jordan’s new bill is really just a mashup of two other bills. One is the Graham/Wicker/Blackburn bill, along with the DOJ’s own proposed anti-230 bill which came out last week as well, because apparently THE ONLY THING THAT CONGRESS NEEDS TO FOCUS ON THESE DAYS IS SECTION 230.
The bill is both lame and unconstitutional, but I’m not going to go over why, because you can just go back to my older analysis of the Wicker/Graham bill and the DOJ bill and recognize that all of the problems with those bills are also in this one.
Even in a normal year, this would be crazy. Having so many bills, all seeking to undermine the open internet, all coming out at once, would be just generally exhausting. But the fact that it’s happening at this particular moment in time — when the open internet is a key part of what is keeping people connected and able to work and socialize, in the midst of a pandemic that Congress is mostly ignoring — is just positively preposterous.
Congress is regularly seen as out of touch with Americans. This is why. They’re playing politics and grandstanding to distract from all their failures, by trying to destroy one part of our daily lives that’s actually working right now.