State Senator Jake Chapman, R-Adel, the President of the Iowa Senate, previewed legislation he plans to file to address “big tech” companies who censor their users. Chapman told The Iowa Torch that legislation has not been filed yet, but plans to announce it soon.
Conservatives have complained about big tech companies inconsistently applying their community standards, or, in some cases, continually change their standards. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields tech companies from lawsuits, has come under fire as Republicans have discussed repealing it and regulating tech platforms in other ways.
Chapman said Iowa does not need to wait for Congress to act, he proposes to strip companies that violate their users’ free speech of any tax breaks received from the state.
Watch his video announcement above or read the transcript of it below:
“We have known for quite some time that big tech has had a liberal agenda. But what we have seen in recent months should disturb all of us. Let’s be clear when these social media platforms proclaimed to simply moderate speech, what they really mean is that they’re suppressing political speech and particularly conservative speech.
“What they really mean is that they want to control what you hear and see, when big tech like Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and Apple squelch conservative speech, they undermine the very fabric of our nation.
“Yet here in Iowa, these same companies have or will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks. Apple alone will receive over $200 million in local and state tax breaks. Well, let me tell you and let me publicly declare to these big tech companies that I am eagerly and anxiously working on legislation that will be introduced in the coming days, these corporations will have a choice. They can choose to respect the freedom of thought and voice or we will put an end to these generous tax breaks.
“Simply hiding behind the Communications Decency Act from liability may work at the federal level. But I would taxpayers will no longer foot the bill for their blatant disregard of our rights. I will lead the charge and, hopefully, other states will follow in proposing similar legislation. We won’t allow liberal executives from California or New York to silence your voice, your thoughts, and your opinions. I’m asking you to stand with me in this incredibly important fight against big tech censorship.”