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Rep. Adam Schiff calls for social media immunity repeal if platforms don’t censor “hate and loathing”

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act should be repealed if social media companies do not do more to censor “hate and loathing.”

Section 230 protects online platforms from liability over content posted by users. Democrats want the provision repealed because they say platforms are not doing enough to censor hate speech and misinformation, while Republicans argue that the provision should be repealed because of censorship of free speech.

“I’m particularly concerned about the practice some of the large tech companies have of, whenever there is a budding, promising new entrant into the market, they buy them out because they don’t necessarily want to develop that product line themself, but they don’t want the competition,” Schiff said in an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union.

“We should absolutely take aim at that and other anti-competitive actions of Big Tech, and I think we’ve got a big problem right now with social media companies and their failure to moderate content and the explosion of hate on Twitter, the banning of journalists on Twitter.”

Following the suspension of @ElonJet, an account that tracked the live location of Musk’s private jet, a few other journalists were suspended on Thursday for violating a new rule prohibiting sharing of the “real-time” location of people.

The suspended journalists include the Washington Post’s Drew Harwell, CNN’s Donnie O’Sullivan, the New York Times’ Ryan Mac, Voice of America’s Steve Herman, and the Intercept’s Micah Lee.

The journalists shared links to a flight tracker that monitors Musk’s Gulfstream.

“I don’t think these companies should enjoy an immunity from liability when they behave this way,” Schiff said. “We can’t tell them what to say or not say, but we gave them immunity. We said, if you’ll be responsible moderators of content, we will give you immunity. They haven’t been. Why should they continue to enjoy that immunity from responsibility and liability?”

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