Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) on Wednesday cosponsored legislation that would empower Americans to sue Big Tech companies for selectively censoring or suppressing political speech.
The bill, the Limiting Section 230 Immunity to Good Samaritans Act, would also prohibit Big Tech companies from receiving immunity under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act unless they update their terms of service to pledge to operate in good faith and pay monetary damages if they violate that pledge.
The bill was introduced by Senators Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Marco Rubio (R-Fl.), Mike Braun (R-In.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ar.).
“We’ve watched Big Tech silence Americans without repercussions for far too long,” said Senator Loeffler. “It’s clear Section 230’s definition of ‘good faith’ is not sufficient. This legislation I am cosponsoring will give everyday Americans the ability to hold massive, powerful tech companies accountable for their blatant effort to make some political opinions voiceless.”
The Limiting Section 230 Immunity to Good Samaritans Act provides that Big Tech companies who want to receive section 230 immunity must bind themselves contractually to a duty of good faith.
Under this bill:
- Users could sue the major Big Tech companies for breaching their contractual duty of good faith;
- The duty of good faith would contractually prohibit Big Tech from:
- Discriminating when enforcing the terms of service they write (just like police and prosecutors are not supposed to discriminate when enforcing the law);
- Failing to honor their promises;
- Big Tech companies who breach their duty of good faith would have to pay $5,000 or actual damages, whichever is higher, plus attorney’s fees to each user who prevails.