In a Senate session on Wednesday, Mitt Romney contested an amendment put forward by Rand Paul, which sought to outlaw the government's use of social media and major technology corporations to suppress the opinions of US citizens.
Paul stated that “the First Amendment really isn’t about protecting the speech of government workers, the First Amendment says Congress shall make no law — it’s about limitations on government involvement with speech.”
"If Twitter says bad things about me and puts up bad things and takes me down I have no recourse against Twitter, same with Facebook. I’m mad, I hate that YouTube has taken my speeches down, I don’t do business with them anymore, because I think they’re bigoted, biased and wrong-headed on this," Paul added.
“As far as threats, what we do know from the Twitter files is that the government was making threats,” Paul continued. “There were threats of Anti-Trust action against the companies if they didn’t take the material down, there was also threats of we will remove your 230 protection. Section 230 gives them liability protection and there were overt threats and threats in writing basically saying if you don’t take this down you know your 230 protection of liability could go away.”
“I think the government should be absolutely prohibited without question. I think it should be as Draconian as you probably can make it,” Paul noted, adding “things that are an opinion, the government has no business in this.”
Romney countered him, asserting that government officials should retain the authority to prevent social media or traditional media companies from disseminating content deemed as "wrong".
Romney stated “To say that no employee of the government from the president on down to the millions of people who work in the government can speak with a social media company or a Legacy Media Company and express their point of view that an article is wrong or that avenue they’re going down is wrong, that would shut off free speech.”