March 14, 2021 — New York
American Jewish Committee (AJC) has long been a vigorous proponent of freedom of speech, even speech with which we vehemently disagree. We believe freedom of speech means that the government should neither tell the American people what they must or cannot say, nor what views they must enunciate or amplify.
As a general matter, we oppose state bills regulating the Internet. If one state can pass an anti-censorship bill, there is no reason another state cannot pass legislation requiring the exact opposite.
A random system of either restrictions or mandates would further stratify Americans and restrict what they read and hear by accidents of geography. If there is to be legislation in this field, AJC believes the burden should rest with the Federal Government.
As we debate how to balance the right of carriers to exclude hate speech (including incitement to violence) from their platforms and the commitment to freedom of speech, we can be sure one solution, not 50 state solutions, will suffice.
Finally, managing hate online is challenging enough without tying the hands of the social media companies. To the extent social media platforms can, fairly and lawfully, address hate on their platforms, they should be able to do so.