Why Are Some Democrats Standing with Senator Ted Cruz in Support of the American Innovation and Choice Online Act and Open App Markets Act ?
Aug 25, 2022

Dangerous disinformation is threatening the stability of our democracy and the safety of many communities around the country. Even in the face of that reality, some Democrats are supporting legislation that would strip online platforms of the ability to remove harmful content.

The American Innovation and Choice Online Act (S. 2992) prohibits online platforms from discriminating between “similarly situated” users online. As written, that means the law would tie the hands of platforms and prevent them from removing hate speech and dangerous misinformation posted by groups like Infowars and the Proud Boys.

The Open App Markets Act (S. 2710) has similar provisions, but goes even further by allowing hoax, hate, and disinformation apps to sue to get their content back onto platforms.

Senator Ted Cruz supports both bills, expressing in hearings how he hopes the legislation will “unleash the trial lawyers,” forcing social platforms to give people promoting hate and violence a pulpit.

Recognizing that danger, more than a dozen Democrats, prominent academics, and civil society organizations have all raised the alarm about the legislation.

“Although important, competition policy goals should not override the ability of platforms to moderate content in good faith. Congress should continue to encourage, not impede, moderation of harmful content online.”

So why are some Democrats still standing with Ted Cruz?