Joyce, Rice and Norman Introduce Bill to Hold Big Tech Accountable

Nov 02, 2021
Press

Legislation takes aim at biased and inconsistent content moderation policies

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) joined Congressmen Tom Rice (SC-07) and Ralph Norman (SC-05) in introducing the Promoting Responsibility Over Moderation in the Social Media Environment (PROMISE) Act, a bill designed to hold Big Tech companies accountable for their promises to keep their content moderation policies and enforcement free of political bias. The legislation is a companion bill to Senator Mike Lee’s PROMISE Act in the U.S. Senate.

“With just a small handful of platforms dominating the exchange of ideas online, it’s critical that their content moderation policies be implemented consistently and fairly across the board,” said Congressman Joyce. “Unfortunately, we now know that Big Tech and Silicon Valley often do the exact opposite, suppressing speech and views they disagree with. The natural competition of all thought and expression – not just those that are popular in elite circles – is a staple of any free, democratic society. That’s why I’m proud to introduce the PROMISE Act. By holding Facebook and other online platforms accountable for their biased censorship decisions, this important legislation will help ensure the internet fosters the free exchange of all ideas, no matter if they are liberal or conservative.” 

“From deleting conservative content to banning conservative ads, we’ve seen time and time again that Big Tech lies to the American people when they claim to operate under a guise of neutrality,” said Congressman Rice. “The PROMISE Act would help keep Big Tech from weaponizing against Americans who hold differing views than the billionaires of Silicon Valley.  This legislation requires Big Tech to explain their content moderation policies and holds them accountable to following those policies.” 

“For too long, Silicon Valley Elites have leveraged the power of Big Tech to not only censor conservatives but smear us. This legislation will bring about transparency for consumers and dilute any deniability social media giants still retain in moderating or removing user content without reason or cause,” said Congressman Norman.

Specifically, the PROMISE Act would:

  • Require a “covered entity” to implement, operate, and disclose information moderation policies that explain the standards, processes, and policies regarding its moderation of information provided by a user or other information content provider. Such policy must include:
  • Categories of information not permitted on its service or subject to moderation by users or the entity itself
  • The process used in moderating content
  • The notification process (if any) utilized to inform users of a moderation action taken, the rationale for the moderation decision, and options for redress (if any)
  • Prohibit a “covered entity” from making a “deceptive policy statement” with respect to its information moderation policy. A “deceptive policy statement” carries with it a rebuttable presumption that a statement is material and likely to cause injury.
  • Make violations of the requirements to implement, operate, or disclose an “information moderation policy” or to not make a “deceptive policy statement” constitute an unfair or deceptive act or practice in violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 45(a)).

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