‘There are probably a thousand accounts out there that are as bad as Alex Jones…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, said that to maintain “common decency,” there should be “consequences” for platforms that don’t ban controversial figures, like Alex Jones.
In an interview with Recode, Wyden said social media sites need to ban “bad actors,” like Jones.
“I think what the Alex Jones case shows, we’re gonna really be looking at what the consequences are for just leaving common decency in the dust,” Wyden said.
Wyden said he will be introducing new legislation to ensure companies like Facebook and Twitter are required to remove controversial figures.
But, he said the legislation that already exists allows social media companies to “go after people who behave irresponsibly.”
“What I’m gonna be trying to do in my legislation is to really lay out what the consequences are when somebody who is a bad actor, somebody who really doesn’t meet the decency principles that reflect our values, if that bad actor blows by the bounds of common decency, I think you gotta have a way to make sure that stuff is taken down,” Wyden said.
Wyden didn’t agree, however, that the government should step in and regulate tech companies if they are unable to maintain the “decency” standard.
“I guess, if people wanna say, ‘You know, we oughta just have the government start dictating…’ By the way, one of the most stunning aspects of the last couple of days is to see conservative politicians, people like Kevin McCarthy and Ted Cruz, they are essentially saying that the government should run private companies, the government should dictate to private companies what they’re doing,” Wyden said. “I’m sure it’s very popular with their base, but doesn’t happen to be the right thing.”
Wyden said tech companies need to “move quickly” when it comes to removing “bad actors,” so that the government isn’t tempted to take control.
“I think it’s also worth noting that, with respect to Alex Jones, there are probably a thousand accounts out there that are as bad as Alex Jones,” he said.