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January 13, 2021 | In The News

Greg Steube files bill to curb social media ‘censorship’ of conservatives

Days after Twitter shut down President Donald Trump‘s Twitter account, Rep. Greg Steube filed legislation to curb online censorship.

The Sarasota Republican has been among those concerned tech companies exerted more restrictions on conservative voices than progressives. The Curbing Abuse and Saving Expression in Technology Act, or CASE-IT, would demand equal treatment. It would do so in part by reforming Section 230, a controversial portion of the Communications Decency Act providing liability protections for social media companies.

“The American people should all demand equal treatment, especially in the public square,” Steube said.

“Our country’s founding and entire system of government prides itself on our ability for citizens to have different views without being suppressed or censored. Through this legislation, we can reform Section 230 and ensure that Big Tech will be held accountable for revoking accounts and selectively censoring conservative content on a partisan basis.”

The CASE-IT Act would make legal immunity conditional for “market-dominant” social media companies, and require the major platforms to adhere to First Amendment standards with content moderation.

A release announcing the legislation noted Trump’s bans on Twitter and Facebook, as well as recent suspensions of right-wing accounts accused of fomenting unrest. He also referenced the decision by Amazon decision to drop Parler over the social media platform not moderating posts planning to engage in violence at the Capitol last week.

Steube earlier this year called on colleagues to shift their social media presence to Parler.

He contrasted these actions to the fact Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei still has a Twitter account.

Steube, the son of a former Manatee County Sheriff, notably condemned riots last week and described in vivid detail violence against law enforcement officers.

“I witnessed our law enforcement officers being injured, gassed from their own tear gas and afraid for their lives as they attempted to hold the line,” he said in a statement last week. “I and three other members were barricaded in a room surrounded by demonstrators until the hallway was clear for us to get out.”

He also cast votes after the Capitol riots objecting to certifying President-elect Joe Biden‘s victories in Arizona and Pennsylvania; both objections failed.