A Legislative Proposal

Congresswoman and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R, WA) and Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone Jr (D, NJ) described a bill they’re proposing that would purport to reform Internet controls and Big Tech’s control over those controls.

Our measure…would require Big Tech and others to work with Congress over 18 months to evaluate and enact a new legal framework that will allow for free speech and innovation while also encouraging these companies to be good stewards of their platforms. Our bill gives Big Tech a choice: work with Congress to ensure the internet is a safe, healthy place for good, or lose Section 230 protections entirely.

18 months is far too long, with far too much time and opportunity for Big Tech to weasel-word saccharine pseudo-reform.

Better would be to give them 6 months, with a hard deadline written into this legislation: satisfactory reform of 230, or 230 is rescinded. A Critical Item that must be included in this proposed legislation is a concrete, publicly measurable definition of “satisfactory reform.”

Another, Highly Useful Item, that could be beneficially included in the bill’s Purpose paragraph, would be a clear and blunt statement that the bill is intended to supplement parental responsibility for their children’s time and activity on the Internet; it does not replace that responsibility.

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