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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene introduces bill to abolish Section 230

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene introduces bill to abolish Section 230
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., introduced a bill Thursday to eliminate Section 230, a law that protects online platforms from liability for content posted by third parties. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

April 28 (UPI) -- Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., introduced a bill to establish a law protecting online platforms from liability for content posted by its users.

The bill, titled the 21st Century Free Speech Act, would abolish the law that protects online platforms from liability for content posted by third parties, known as Section 230, and replace it with a "liability protection framework" that would require "reasonable, non-discriminatory access to online platforms" through a "common carrier" framework comparable to telephone, transportation and electric services.

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"Americans today use major technology platforms to communicate and consume information," Greene said in a statement alongside Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., who introduced a version of the bill in the Senate. "These platforms are owned by large technology corporations that dominate their markets and use opaque, inconsistent moderation practices, allowing them to control the information presented and discussed in the modern public square."

Other provisions of the bill would require tech companies to disclose their content moderation practices, prevent platforms from exerting "undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to any particular person, class of persons, political or religious group or affiliation, or locality" while providing consumers a mechanism to sue for violations of those protections.

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It would also allow platforms to restrict access to pornography and other lewd or obscene content, as well as excessively violent, harassing or unlawful content.

Greene's personal Twitter account was permanently suspended in January following repeated violations of the platform's policies regarding misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since then, Greene told The Hill she began evaluating various bills targeting major tech companies and found Hagerty's the most effective, adding she decided to introduce it Thursday following billionaire Elon Musk's decision to purchase Twitter.

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"Elon Musk buying Twitter and talking about defending free speech has ramped up the Democrats' efforts to want to clamp down on speech. And so that made me realize, you know, that I need to introduce this now," she said.

While in office, former President Donald Trump regularly targeted Section 230, signing an executive order directing the Commerce Department to ask the Federal Communications Commission to reinterpret the law in May 2020 shortly after Twitter flagged a pair of his tweets on mail-in voting as potentially misleading. Trump was later banned from Twitter and various other online platforms in the wake of the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.

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Two months later, the Commerce Department formally asked the FCC to develop plans to regulate social media platforms.

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This week in Washington

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Ambassador of Ukraine to the US Oksana Markarova, and other members of the House unveil a photo exhibit on the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the Capitol on Thursday. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

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