Sen. Lindsey Graham Says ‘Damage’ Done to Teens by Social Media ‘Is the Biggest Issue Facing America’ (Video)
Sen. Lindsey Graham told Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner that a licensing requirement for social media companies should be developed to prevent abuse of young girls and empower parents and consumers.
The topic came up on Monday’s “The Faulkner Focus” segment of Fox News, as Faulkner and Graham discussed Twitter’s regulation of posts pointing to a lab leak as the real cause of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This Twitter stuff, Google, it’s as big a story as how COVID started. Because what they’ve done is suppress the other side of the story,” Graham began. “Every time as a scientist come forward to suggest that maybe it came out of a lab or that we’re not following the science, that we’re overdoing it, that we’re going too far, they’re shut down. So the real story for me is that the social media companies that exist today, Google, Twitter — they’re unregulated and you can’t sue them. They’re the biggest companies in the history of the world and a consumer has no recourse. We have to fix that.”
Faulkner asked if section 230 of the Communications Decency Act would be useful in achieving this, to which Graham replied yes.
“Will Republicans end up doing something about it and do you think you can get it through the Senate?” Faulkner continued.
Here, Graham compared social media to other television and broadcast media regulations.
“Okay. Sue Twitter, if someone says something bad about me and they use Twitter, I can sue Twitter if it’s a lie. By suppressing information about my campaign, not trashing my ads, I can file lawsuits,” he said. “But the most important thing for me is the regulatory commission. You need a license to sell real estate, to open a TV station, to run a radio station. These companies should have a license that can be taken away.”
Noting that a call for censorship goes against the broader Republican attitude toward government and regulation, Faulkner asked Graham about this exception.
“Here’s the deal: To get a license you have to have privacy protections. A license requirement would be that if you take down my content, I as a social media company can appeal your decision to someone outside of the company because I’m a consumer,” Graham said. “Young girls are driven to websites just to make money. There is a mental health abuse here by these algorithms. The social media companies are doing a lot of harm to young teenage girls. And we need a licensing requirement to prevent that and empower parents.”
After Faulkner commented on his passion for the subject, Graham responded with the words: “Yes. I mean, it’s the biggest problem facing America.”
Watch a clip from the segment in the video above.