Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA) raised additional concerns about the Journalism Competition and Protection Act (JCPA) at a hearing Thursday, after Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) submitted to the left-leaning legislation. which would allow media organizations to form cartels to negotiate with Big Tech companies.
Padilla, during Thursday Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, told members he supports the bill’s “stated objective” but still has concerns. While he said he believes there should be “stronger language to ensure that revenue from this bill goes to the workers who make journalism possible and is invested in high-quality local journalism,” he disagreed with statements made by his colleagues. who suggested that the bill is “not about content moderation”.
“I don’t find myself saying that often. But Senator Cruz was right to be concerned about the impact of this bill on the way information is shared and consumed online,” the Democrat admitted.
“But we depart significantly from the way the problems appear in this draft law. And while it is good that this committee spent the last two weeks making sure that Senator Cruz is comfortable with the bill, my strong concerns remain unaddressed,” Padilla said, essentially complaining that the measure does not go far enough to allow what he described as “evil. faith actors” to continue, asserting that the provisions “force platforms to amplify the spread of hate speech and misinformation online.”
And indeed, as Sageznews News reported, the bill makes the censorship problem worse. While these newly formed media cartels will not be able to exclude media companies based on the “views expressed by its content”, they will still be able to exclude them based on the arbitrary factors commonly used by e the radical left and Big Tech, already for it. censors conservatives, subjectively deeming their posts “disinformation” or “extremism” or “hate speech” if they disagree with the narrative.
But Padilla clearly thinks the law doesn’t allow enough censorship. “These provisions also work in concert to allow bad faith actors to compel platforms to amplify the spread of hate speech and misinformation online,” Padilla said, also expressing concern over the bill’s “impact on the open internet and the public’s ability to access and share information.”
“The law is plagued by vague terms,” he continued, explaining that it “defines content access as, quote, “acquisition, crawling, and indexing of content,” but does not define those key terms. Does ‘agreement’ refer to a intentional action taken by a platform or would it include any instance of a video or piece of content being uploaded by a user to a platform?” he asked, expressing concern that the bill would benefit organizations such as Project Veritas and InfoWars.
“In other words, does a platform like YouTube, for example, receive content when a user uploads a video to its service? If the answer is yes, then this bill creates an opportunity for media outlets like Project Veritas or InfoWars to simply upload their videos to YouTube and then force payment from the company from the platform,” he said.
“The confusion over the interpretation of these very technical terms can be extremely significant,” Padilla added, concluding that the measure “still needs a lot of work.”
As currently drafted, Padilla said he could not support the bill in question. However, the committee approved the Cruz amendment and moved the measure.