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Senate Democrats Introduce Bill to Give Federal Government Massive Power over Online Platforms

Calvin Freiburger : May 26, 2023

Conservative attorney Harmeet Dhillon excoriated the bill as "unconstitutional, also evil and stupid" on Twitter, highlighting an analysis by Didi Rankovic of anti-online censorship website Reclaim the Net.

(Washington, DC) — [] Democrat US Sens. Michael Bennet of Colorado and Peter Welch of Vermont [have] introduced legislation to give the federal government "comprehensive oversight" power over digital platforms, in what critics are calling a blatant threat to freedom of speech online. (Image: Unsplash-Brian Wangenheim)

Bennet's Digital Platform Commission Act would create a new five-person body of commissioners nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, backed by an 18-member Code Council of "experts" in various subjects including "disinformation." The commission would have broad rulemaking, investigative, and penalizing power, ostensibly in the name of promoting public safety, access to government services, business competition and consumer protection, protection of digital infrastructure, prevention of "deceptive, unfair, unjust, unreasonable, or abusive practices," algorithm fairness and transparency, and ensuring a "robust and competitive marketplace of ideas with a diversity of views at the local, State, and national levels."

That last assurance is called into doubt, however, by Section 2 of the bill, which blames the current lack of federal regulation for "abetting the collapse of trusted local journalism," "enabling addiction and other harms to mental health," "disseminating disinformation and hate speech," and "in some cases, radicalizing individuals to violence"—echoing common left-wing rhetoric about the expression of views and information that dissent from various left-wing orthodoxies... Subscribe for free to Breaking Christian News here

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