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A new bill aimed at increasing accountability of online Big Tech platforms has raised concerns that it may create problems worse than the ones it's trying to solve.

Details: The bill, introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), would open up platforms like YouTube and Facebook to lawsuits about content they host, unless federal regulators certified that their moderation of content was not "biased against a political party, political candidate, or political viewpoint."

Yes, but: Many people say they don't want to see the government being put in the position of determining which online services are "biased" and which deserve legal protection.

What they're saying:

  • CCIA President & CEO Ed Black: "Fans of the fictitious '1984' novel would no doubt appreciate the ludicrousness of a so-called anti-censorship bill that would require companies to get government approval to censor nefarious content — or face legal liability. This is an unbelievable disregard for the essence of the First Amendment and attempt to overlay a lens of partisan politics over the communications of millions of Americans."
  • TechFreedom president Berin Szóka: "Hawley's proposal would revive the Fairness Doctrine, an idea that Republicans have opposed since the Truman administration. For the first time, Internet services would effectively need a license issued by the U.S. government to operate. That would make them utterly dependent upon the goodwill of FTC commissioners, and in turn, the White House."

Go deeper: Big Tech grilled on hate speech, accountability at Code Conference

Go deeper

48 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.

The China whisperer

Nick Burns. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee for ambassador to China will face aggressive questioning Wednesday about the most important, and potentially perilous, bilateral relationship in the world.

Why it matters: While Nick Burns is an experienced diplomat with support on both sides of the aisle, lawmakers want to use his confirmation hearing to force the administration into some tough positions on China.

Jan. 6 committee recommends contempt charges against Bannon

Steve Bannon. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riots unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday night recommending that former Trump aide Steve Bannon be held in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena.

Why it matters: The resolution sets up a House vote to refer Bannon for potential criminal prosecution, signaling that the committee will not tolerate attempts by former President Trump and his associates to stymie the investigation.