GOP Plans to Ban Chinese Communist Officials from US Social Media

A group of House Republicans is planning to introduce a bill that would prohibit social media platforms from providing account access to senior officials of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Reps. Brian Mast (R-FL), Jim Banks (R-IN), Joe Wilson (R-SC), and Tom Tiffany (R-WI) are leading the move to “hold China and Big Tech accountable.” The sponsors are part of the House Republican Study Committee and the National Security and Foreign Affairs Committee.

The proposal will be titled the “China Social Media Reciprocity Act” and will prohibit tech companies that host social media platforms from providing accounts to any person involved in the CCP.

The restrictions could only be removed if the president is able to certify to Congress that the CCP and the Chinese government have “verifiably removed prohibitions on officials of the U.S. government from accessing, using, or participating in social media platforms in China.”

In order to establish that condition, the bill would require China to remove all censorship methods that restrict access to social media inside China or prevent persons there from viewing internet content generated by U.S. officials or citizens placed on social media platforms inside China.

The president’s certification would have to be approved by Congress so that it would have “the final say,” according to a member who spoke to Fox News.

Rep. Mast said China has taken “drastic steps to keep American ideas off of their social platforms.” He said the new bill is “about leveling the playing field,” and added that CCP officials “should not be allowed to spew propaganda” on American social media while at the same time blocking open discussions on their own applications.

Rep. Tiffany said that Big Tech companies have been a willing “propaganda machine” for the CCP and “even the Taliban.” He said that if a foreign dictator refuses to allow his citizens to have “free and unfettered access to American social media,” that dictator and his officials “should be de-platformed, period.”

The new proposal follows a GOP bill introduced last year titled the “No Social Media Accounts for Terrorists or State Sponsors of Terrorism Act of 2021.” That bill was designed to provide the president authority to sanction service providers who provide accounts to senior officials of state sponsors of terrorism and foreign individuals sanctioned by the U.S. for terrorism.

That bill has 47 co-sponsors in the House but has not yet been brought to the floor for consideration by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.