WATCH: Pro-Censorship Advocate Goes After Section 230 Over Undefined ‘Harmful Content’

April 12th, 2024 5:41 PM

A radical proponent of censorship received the opportunity to advise Congress on Big Tech and liability. She told Congress that protections for social media platforms should depend on their willingness to remove content. 

Dr. Mary Anne Franks, the author of the Cult of the Constitution, Our Deadly Devotion to Guns and Free Speech, repeatedly advised members of Congress that tech platforms should be stripped of liability protections if they do not remove content she does not approve of. During an April 11 Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing, Franks lamented: “While some groups may be enjoying free speech under the Section 230 status quo, especially billionaires, white supremacists, conspiracy mongers, this freedom is not shared equally across society.” No free speech advocates were invited as witnesses to counter her radical views. 

In response to a question from Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX), Franks offered a disturbing answer, saying that a social media platform’s immunity should be dependent on its approach to “harmful content.” Franks claimed, “There needs to be a limitation on this kind of immunity, if it’s going to be given at all, under C1, it’s got to be given to those kind of social media companies and platforms that are not soliciting, encouraging or profiting from or being deliberately indifferent to what they know is harmful content.” [Emphasis added]

Franks repeated this point to Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL), adding, “You cannot be profiting from harmful content and I think it also means you cannot be an indifferent bystander.”

During the hearing, Franks did not list what she considers “harmful content.” However, she has a long track record of statements and publications demonstrating her opposition to free speech. Franks not only wrote the Cult of the Constitution but also submitted a letter to the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack titled “Social Media and the Weaponization of Free Speech.”

According to Jonathan Turley, a Fox News contributor and George Washington University Law School professor, Franks wants to “gut the First and Second Amendments” to the Constitution. Turley cited Frank’s rewrite of the First Amendment to prioritize equity over freedom of speech as well as her wholesale replacement of the right to bear arms with a right to abortion. 

Here is her proposal for an improved First Amendment in full

“Every person has the right to freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly, and petition of the government for redress of grievances, consistent with the rights of others to the same and subject to responsibility for abuses. All conflicts of such rights shall be resolved in accordance with the principle of equality and dignity of all persons. Both the freedom of religion and the freedom from religion shall be respected by the government. The government may not single out any religion for interference or endorsement, nor may it force any person to accept or adhere to any religious belief or practice.” [EMPHASIS ADDED]

Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, here is your expert witness. 

Conservatives are under attack! Contact your representatives and demand Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency on WEF partnerships, clarity on so-called hate speech and 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.