U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R. GA) really, really wants her Twitter account back.
Standing beside a poster with a printout of her suspended account on Thursday, Greene introduced a new bill which would abolish Section 230, the law that protects tech companies from liability over posts on their sites. “It’s really important for me to have my personal Twitter account,” she claimed.
Greene’s bill is called the 21st Century FREE Speech Act and compliments the Senate version of the bill, introduced by Tennessee Republican Senator Bill Hagerty last year. The conservative congresspeople want to repeal Section 230 and replace it with language requiring “reasonable, non-discriminatory access to online communications platforms” by classifying such social media sites as “common carriers.”
Greene’s bill comes just after billionaire Tesla owner Elon Musk won his bid to buy Twitter and take it private at $54.20 a share. Musk has vowed to make Twitter “politically neutral.”
Greene’s personal, not her congressional, account on the platform was permanently suspended in early 2022 for violating Twitter’s policies against the spread of COVID-19 misinformation.
During her press conference, she said that she spent months reviewing several bills that would target Big Tech censorship and after Musk’s bid was accepted this week, she quickly went to find one to support, finding common ground with Hagerty’s Senate bill.
“Elon Musk buying Twitter and talking about defending free speech has ramped up the Democrats’ efforts to want to clamp down on speech. That made me realize, you know, that I need to introduce this now.”
Greene tweeted from her official account on Monday to “Prepare for blue check mark full scale meltdown after [Musk] seals the deal and I should get my personal Twitter account restored.”
Classifying social media platforms as common carriers was first proposed by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas last April after the court declined to hear a case against former President Donald Trump for his constantly blocking people on Twitter.
“There is a fair argument that some digital platforms are sufficiently akin to common carriers or places of accommodation to be regulated in this manner. In theory, common carriage would ban platforms from unfairly discriminating against speech.”
“Thomas’ opinion had no legal force, but it provided a new option for Republicans outraged over Big Tech censorship outside of the usual tedious and delicate legislative process related to Section 230 reform.”
While Greene has proven to be Hagerty’s only real support for the measure, Greene believes the bill will move forward should Republicans take back the house in the upcoming November midterm elections.