Wicker bill would to prohibit big tech from controlling online speech

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, has introduced the Promoting Rights and Online Speech Protections to Ensure Every Consumer is Heard (PRO-SPEECH) Act. The bill would establish baseline protections to prohibit Big Tech from engaging in unfair, deceptive, or anti-competitive practices that limit or control consumers’ speech. 

“The big social media companies continue to abuse their market power by censoring content, suppressing certain viewpoints, and prioritizing favored political speech,” said Wicker. “My bill would put safeguards in place to preserve internet freedom, promote competition, and protect consumers from these blatantly biased practices. It is time for Congress to act to ensure the internet can be an open forum where so views are expressed.”

The PRO-SPEECH Act would:

  • Preserve consumers’ ability to access lawful content, applications, services, or devices that do not interfere with an internet platform’s functionality or pose a data privacy or data security risk to a user;
  • Prohibit internet platforms from taking any actions against users based on racial, sexual, religious, partisan, or ethnic grounds;
  • Prohibit large internet platforms from blocking or discriminating against competing internet platforms by declaring such actions presumptively anti-competitive;
  • Require an internet platform to disclose to the public accurate information regarding the platform management practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms of service of any app store, cloud computing service, operating system, search engine, or social media network it owns; and
  • Authorize the Federal Trade Commission to enforce the Act under Section 5 of the FTC Act notwithstanding any other provision of law.

DeSoto County News Service

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