Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., introduced legislation Wednesday to give Americans the ability to sue major tech companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter if they engage in selective censorship of political speech.
The Limiting Section 230 Immunity to Good Samaritans Act, cosponsored by Rubio, Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., and Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., would stop such companies from receiving immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, unless they update their terms of service to promise to operate in good faith.
The bill would allow users to sue companies for breaching that contractual duty of good faith, and it would make them pay $5,000 plus legal fees to each user who prevails in a case against them.
Speaking with host Maria Bartiromo, Rubio called Big Tech companies, including Facebook and Twitter, "monopolies," arguing that "too much power" is "now concentrated in the hands of five or six companies."
"If Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Twitter all get in a room and say, ‘We want to destroy someone. We’re going to shut them down. We don’t like them. We don’t like their politics,’ they’ll destroy you," he said. "They’ll wipe you off the face of the earth."
"You won’t exist. You can’t do commerce. You can’t do business. You can’t communicate," Rubio continued. "This can’t continue."
He also argued that Big Tech companies "have acted in bad faith."
The Florida senator brought up an example, pointing to Facebook saying on May 26 that it would no longer ban posts suggesting COVID-19 is manmade amid mounting calls from President Biden and other officials for further investigation into the pandemic’s origins.
The announcement marked a reversal for the social media giant. In February, Facebook said it would remove posts claiming the virus was manmade or manufactured "following consultations with leading health organizations, including the World Health Organization" who had "debunked" the claim.
"If a year ago you were going around telling people that the lab-leak theory in China was credible, they [Facebook] would not have allowed you to you post that," Rubio told Bartiromo.
"They would have taken it down and if you did it repeatedly you would have been framed and labeled a conspiracy theorist and a spreader of disinformation."
"A year later, they had to reform their policies, but people’s reputations were destroyed. People were called terrible things," he continued, arguing that "this happens every single day."
He said Big Tech companies like Facebook "decide what’s true and you can’t sue them."
Rubio then noted that if a newspaper were to publish something about a private citizen that is "damaging, you can sue them," but "you can’t sue these companies."
"They have to act in good faith and if they don’t, they should be liable just like a publisher is," he stressed.
When Bartiromo asked Rubio where the legislation currently stands, he responded by acknowledging that "it’s been an uphill climb."
He explained that he believes that many Republicans and Democrats agree that "Big Tech is too big" and "needs to be reformed," but both parties are "approaching it from a different angle."
Rubio said that Republicans don’t want Big Tech to be monopolies and "don’t want them to be unfair and go after people’s free speech rights."
"I think the left is arguing yes, they’re monopolies, but we want them to go after people’s free speech rights who we don’t agree with and so that’s the difference," he argued.
"They want them to crack down more on Republicans and conservatives and we want them to let everyone speak."
Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Google and Twitter did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment on Thursday.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw, Jake Gibson and Fox Business’ Thomas Barrabi contributed to this report.