Press Releases

Burgess: Online platforms should be transparent, and rules should be applicable fairly to all users

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), a member of the House Rules Committee and Republican Leader of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, released the following statement after Federal Communication Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that the FCC would be looking into clarifying the meaning of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. 

The announcement from Chairman Pai came after Twitter and Facebook censored a story by the New York Post about former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden’s alleged correspondence with representatives from the Ukrainian company Burisma.  

"Early this summer questions started to arise on whether or not Congress needed to undertake a serious review of the application of Section 230 across online platforms and evaluate whether the liability protection is meeting its original intent. This week, we have seen the other two branches of the federal government also raise the same questions,” said Burgess.

"While Twitter, Facebook, and other online platforms are private entities and have a First Amendment right to regulate speech that they host, their practices should be transparent and applied equally to all users, regardless of political view.

“Americans deserve to know why the story from the New York Post was blocked, but other stories such as the Steele Dossier and illegally obtained documents about the President’s tax returns were not.

"I am encouraged that Chairman Pai is taking action to clarify the meaning of Section 230. Clearly it is time for Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats to call a hearing on a nearly 25-year-old law and ensure its applicability to modern times. My friend, former Congressman Chris Cox, who was the author of Section 230, should be one of the first witnesses called. His expertise on the subject is invaluable to the conversation."