Josh Hawley Introduces Bill to Put Washington In Charge of Internet Speech | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Josh Hawley Introduces Bill to Put Washington In Charge of Internet Speech

Sen. Josh Hawley (R–Mo.) is introducing legislation to clamp down on free expression online, under the pretense of fighting tech-company "bias" against Republicans.

Hawley's solution is to amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a measure that prevents individual users of internet platforms and the companies that run them from being treated as legally indistinguishable from one another. Without it, digital companies and the users of their products (i.e., all of us) could be sued in civil court or subject to state criminal prosecution over content and messages created and published by others.

State attorneys general have been howling about Section 230 for more than a decade because it means that only the federal government can criminally prosecute internet intermediaries. Thus, state prosecutors don't have the opportunity to seize assets and bring in big financial settlements themselves.

As attorney general of Missouri, Hawley joined in the tradition of Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris when she was attorney general of California, and the top cops from many other states, in begging Congress to amend Section 230. The first time around, back in 2013, the excuse attorneys general used was "child sex trafficking," falsely insisting that Section 230 stopped knowing perpetrators of this horrific crime from being brought to justice.* (In fact, nothing in Section 230 has ever prevented the Department of Justice from enforcing federal criminal laws, including laws against forced or underage prostitution.)