Contact: Noel Fritsch
Email: [email protected]
Delavan, WI — Republican U.S. House candidate Paul Nehlen is the first candidate or elected official willing to stand up and propose a legislative solution to the problem of censorship of Americans’ lawful speech on social media.
“We need a federal law prohibiting censorship of lawful speech on major social media platforms,” Nehlen asserts. “It is well-known that Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube discriminate against the right-wing, as evidenced by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s recent comments. While widely heralded for those comments, they rang hollow with no suggested solution. This law is that solution. It will extend Americans’ First Amendment free speech protections onto major social media platforms.”
“We are not extensively regulating or ‘trust-busting,'” Nehlen explains, “because people generally like how the platforms perform in terms of functionality. This law will not interfere with features or functionality, so market forces will remain in play. The problem is their censorship of lawful speech. Hypocritically, the same companies that support net neutrality also want to censor your speech. We say no.”
For purposes of this legislation, “censorship” includes:
Denial of platform access and normal use thereof (e.g., lockouts, suspensions, bans)
Issuance of “verified” status based on any factor(s) unrelated to identity authentication
“Throttling” accounts and/or content without disclosure
Embargoing content (i.e., no “memory-holing” content without the consent of the creator)
Manipulating “trending” algorithms without disclosure
“Lawful speech” is based upon the standards enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, with the following limitations:
No child pornography
No explicit, credible threats of physical violence
No publishing any individual’s nonpublic residential address, telephone number, or email address without their consent
Platforms may choose to prohibit otherwise-lawful pornographic video (i.e., video containing explicit sexual acts)
Restrictions on copyrighted content are already addressed by the DMCA
“Major social media platforms” means social media platforms that enjoy a market share above a minimum threshold level. At present, it would include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Reddit. (Smaller platforms and message boards will not be affected.)
The legislation would impose company fines of $500,000 per instance of wrongful censorship, and would be enforced by the FCC. Judicial remedies (both monetary and non-monetary) may also be available to aggrieved parties.
“The bedrock of American society is freedom of speech. Social media companies have usurped this freedom, and we intend to give it back to the American people,” says Nehlen.
“This is just one more instance where Paul Ryan has shown he isn’t getting the job done in Washington. The GOP’s voters are being systematically censored off of the primary channels of public communication by left-wing tech giants, and Ryan — indeed, the entire GOP Congress — has sat utterly mute for years and allowed it to happen. In the absence of leadership, I willingly step into the breach.”