Sen. Bill Hagerty Aims to Make Big Tech Platforms Common Carriers

Sen. Bill Hagerty Aims to Make Big Tech Platforms Common Carriers


Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) has introduced a bill that takes aim at a key vulnerability of Big Tech — their increasing resemblance to common carriers.

The bill, called the 21st Century FREE Speech Act, follows a legal opinion from Justice Clarence Thomas arguing that censorship of Americans on tech platforms could be ended if they were regulated as common carriers or places of public accommodation.

For tech companies with more than 100 million monthly active users, the bill would abolish Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the bill that tech companies rely on to censor their users with impunity.

The bill would replace it with language that preserves liability protection for hosting third-party content (a critical protection that allows platforms to host a wide range of speech without legal risk) while eliminating the broad immunity for censorship that existed under Section 230.

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While the bill allows for

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