Democrat Sens. Klobuchar, Luján Introduce Legislation to Crackdown on Online 'Misinformation'

Posted: Jul 24, 2021 5:00 PM
Democrat Sens. Klobuchar, Luján Introduce Legislation to Crackdown on Online 'Misinformation'

Source: AP Photo/John Locher

Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Ben Ray Luján (N.M.) introduced legislation that would hold social media companies accountable for allowing the spread of "health-related misinformation" on their platforms during "public health emergencies."

The Health Misinformation Act would make an exception to digital platform's liability protections granted to them under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The senators are looking for platforms with algorithms that promote "health-related misinformation" regarding existing public health emergencies, such as the coronavirus pandemic, to be held legally responsible. 

The Secretary of Health and Human Services would determine what would be considered to be health misinformation.

“For far too long, online platforms have not done enough to protect the health of Americans,” Klobuchar said in a press release. “These are some of the biggest, richest companies in the world and they must do more to prevent the spread of deadly vaccine misinformation." 

"Earlier this year, I called on Facebook and Twitter to remove accounts that are responsible for producing the majority of misinformation about the coronavirus, but we need a long term solution," she continued. "This legislation will hold online platforms accountable for the spread of health-related misinformation. The coronavirus pandemic has shown us how lethal misinformation can be and it is our responsibility to take action.”

Klobuchar said earlier this week on CNN's “State of the Union”that Facebook and other social media companies should face consequences for allowing "misinformation" to spread online.

This comes after President Joe Biden asserted last week that platforms that allow the spread of misinformation online are "killing people." He has since walked back these comments, saying that social media companies are not killing people, but rather, users who post "outrageous misinformation."

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