Elon Musk has bought Twitter, and with his takeover, a lot of conservatives are hoping they can have their accounts restored, and have the restrictions that resulted in their banning — such as racist language and disinformation about elections and healthcare — lifted for all users. So, where’s the line?
Should a platform be able to impose any restrictions at all on how users engage with the site, or must everything that’s legal be allowed? Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) weighs in, and the answer, it appears, is that he deems the right to be openly racist to reign supreme.
Fox’s Sean Hannity: “What do you do about overtly racist people or virulently anti-Semitic language [on social media]?”
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH): “There’s 5 rights under that First Amendment. Let’s honor those rights.” pic.twitter.com/cMo21Y7e5o
— The Recount (@therecount) April 26, 2022
Even Sean Hannity seems to acknowledge that there might be some extreme racist or antisemitic rhetoric that should be regulated. Jordan doesn’t.
“Err on the side of the First Amendment,” he declares, failing to address that the First Amendment applies to government-imposed limitations on speech, and does not require that any company provide a platform for said speech.
In fact, he goes on to declare that if Republicans take back the House on the 2022 elections, they’re planning changes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects companies from being held responsible for the speech of users on their platforms.
An attack on Section 230 was one of the actions Donald Trump threatened during his presidency, after becoming angry that social media sites dared to even nominally hold him accountable to the same rules that they imposed on every other user.
It’s only one of the legislative actions Republicans are threatening if they regain control of government, including shutting down the January 6th investigation, or taking over the Committee and using it to target Nancy Pelosi, the FBI, and others.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com