Rep. Claudia Tenney, who is co-sponsoring two bills against the Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board, said Saturday that under the Biden administration and Democrats, “we’re seeing these old dystopian novels like ‘1984’ before our very eyes.”
“We actually are the free speech party,” said the New York Republican on Newsmax’s “Wake Up America.” “The Republicans want to see a public open square where we have the marketplace of ideas and they’re afraid to come out into the public square and talk about these issues because the American people aren’t accepting their extremist views.
“So what do they do? They use censorship in the Ministry of Truth. Well, that’s because their ideas don’t work when put into practice.”
Meanwhile, now-former press secretary Jen Psaki has commented that the new board is a “continuation of work” that started under former President Donald Trump’s administration, and Tenney called that “absurd. “
“I don’t even think President [Joe] Biden knows what’s going on, and I think that’s become pretty clear to the people in the United States, watching his continued gaffes and lack of awareness of what’s happening,” said Tenney. “It’s s all being run by staff behind the scenes.”
She said she thinks Psaki may be referring to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which was created almost 30 years ago to allow immunity for what information goes online.
“But what’s happened is Section 230 has created a kind of corporate welfare to those Big Tech companies like Twitter and others, where they’re able to bypass a lot of these rules and censor speech,” said Tenney. “We know that’s been happening on Twitter cutting off conservatives, so I think that’s what she’s alluding to. But we need to reform Section 230 because they’re all getting away with it.”
But even with tech companies being private, Tenney said they should still be held accountable for libelous postings.
“I was a publisher of a newspaper so technically as a private owner, I put out a newspaper every day, but I had to carry libel insurance in the event that we publish something that we slipped through that we couldn’t verify,” she said. “So now you’ve got this situation where you have human trafficking, you have terrorism and drug trafficking and violence on the internet. That’s not being censored.”
But still, the Democrats are censoring speech, “and I’d say Democrats because it’s the administration who is creating this Ministry of Truth to censor,” said Tenney.
“During COVID, if you dared to say that masks didn’t work, you were cut off Twitter,” she said. “I think the issue comes down to how do we hold people liable for that type of information; we’ve got to get back to the basics of the First Amendment.”
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