A bipartisan effort to hold big tech companies accountable may not be very far away. The American Innovation and Choice Online Act is supposed to do just that even though economists don’t believe that the anti-trust bill will stop big tech companies from hindering small businesses from succeeding and hopefully reduce the possibility of users getting banned or censored for their content.
The bill is being introduced by a bipartisan coalition of Republicans and Democrats as “bipartisan legislation to restore competition online by establishing common sense rules for dominant digital platforms to prevent them from abusing their power to harm competition, online businesses, and consumers.”
It might also be a good chance for people to get their accounts back if they’ve been banned before. With the threat of legislation, big tech companies are likely not to push the issue of censorship unless they’re out of their mind.
After the new Twitter owner, Parag Agrawal, pushed more censorship on the platform than was present before, there’s a good chance this legislation would allow users to gain more freedom of speech.
Then, there are Senate hearings. Republicans and Democrats should push for hearings on the bill to determine the specificity and what would be most effective. Pushing the bill forward without hearings might lead to loopholes that could be problematic for further legislation on big tech companies and allow the platforms to censor speech that would otherwise be protected.
Senator John Kennedy said, “Big Tech has a history of unfairly limiting customer options and stifling free-market competition. The American Innovation and Choice Online Act will assist firms online in providing consumers with additional options at competitive pricing, which is what the American economy is meant to do best.”
The difference between big tech companies and regular businesses comes down to consumer agreement to do business with them. When there isn’t another option for businesses to thrive because big tech companies marketed themselves as a pro-business platform, it’s not very fair to censor them when they get there. It’s clear that a large number of businesses are legally operated, so the fact that there’s no government pushback on their freedom to conduct business in the world, there should never be pushback on running your business account on big tech company’s platforms. It shouldn’t be this difficult to understand.
The Senate would even have to propose a bill like this is ridiculous. The federal government is teaming up with Facebook to flag misinformation, making it acceptable for Facebook to conduct itself as they have for the last several years. It turns out that most of the “conspiracies” that Facebook has censored are coming true. Did the Democrats get their accounts banned when they spread misinformation before the facts came out? No, they didn’t.