WATCH: MRC’s Dan Schneider Shreds Big Tech Discrimination

February 26th, 2024 10:33 AM

MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider laid bare the hypocrisy of Big Tech companies censoring conservatives while relying on expansive liability protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. 

Schneider laid out the historical and legal case for free speech on these platforms during the Feb. 20 edition of The Wayne Dupree Show. When co-host and American Tribune Co-Founder Jason Robertson asked Schneider how to restructure Section 230 “so that it doesn’t come back to bite us in the a** five years from now,” Schneider pointed out that the case for free speech had a precedent dating back “hundreds of years.” Schneider explained that “common carriers” must provide service to everyone and thus are not liable for the actions of people using them. 

“These Big Tech companies…want it both ways; They want to be able to provide a service and make lots of money, but also discriminate,” Schneider continued, hammering social media companies’ hypocrisy. “You can’t provide service to the broad public and then discriminate against a few of us. You got to open it up to everybody.”

The MRC Free Speech Vice President explained the history of the issue. “A common carrier is a company that provides a service to the public that is available to all — just like Facebook and Google, they’re common carriers. And the rule has always been — except for one exception — the rule has always been that common carriers cannot deny service to anybody, and then as a consequence, they’re not held liable when somebody does something wrong using that service.”

Schneider added that “common carriers” had been held to this standard in every case, save for Plessy vs. Ferguson, a railroad racial discrimination case that was eventually overturned. “These Big Tech platforms want to resurrect the Plessy vs. Ferguson case and say, ‘No, we should be allowed, even though we’re common carriers. We should be allowed to discriminate against people and deny service to some people, just because we wanna,’” Schneider explained before adding, “Let’s not go back to the Plessy vs. Ferguson era where big corporations are allowed to discriminate. Let’s allow individuals to have access to these big providers of services, like over the internet. We just need to go back to what has always been recognized under the law.”

This conversation comes at an important moment. Two separate cases litigating this “common carrier” argument were scheduled for a Feb. 26 Supreme Court hearing, NetChoice, LLC v.  Paxton and Moody v. NetChoice, LLC. In both cases, NetChoice seeks to shield big tech companies’ censorship efforts from regulation in the face of state laws protecting consumers from discrimination by “common carriers.” 

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency and an equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.