This Epoch Times story is headlined: “Fight Social Media Censorship by Suing for Discrimination, Think Tank Head Urges.” Reporter Matthew Vadum interviewed me for the article earlier this week, and he quotes me extensively.
Regular readers will be familiar with the points I made to Mr. Vadum:
The best way to fight social media censorship is to promote model state legislation all across the country that gives users the right to sue when a tech platform engages in discrimination, John Hinderaker, president of Minnesota’s Center of the American Experiment, told The Epoch Times in an exclusive interview.
Hinderaker writes that “the basic idea” behind his right-to-sue model legislation “is to ban discrimination in the moderation of content on social media sites on the basis of race, sex, religion, or political orientation.”
“These tech companies cannot afford to keep getting sued, particularly if some of the major states like Texas and Florida pass the right kind of legislation,” Hinderaker told The Epoch Times in the interview.
“I really think it’s the one thing that could cause the tech companies to just give it up.”
One of the many advantages of this approach is that existing discrimination law could readily be imported, so that, for example, a plaintiff could investigate how the tech company treats other users who have posted similar materials, with a view toward showing that the grounds for censorship asserted by the social media platform were pretextual.
The interview also includes some discussion of my view that the antitrust laws could properly be interpreted to apply to non-economic misuse of monopoly power, for example by attempting to unduly influence elections. This is potentially another way to rein in tech companies that may well turn out to be natural monopolies.