This act would only affect larger tech companies, which it defines as having more than 30 million active monthly users in the US, more than 300 million active monthly users worldwide, and more than $500 million in global annual revenue. Those that don't meet the criteria would still receive automatic immunity.
"With Section 230, tech companies get a sweetheart deal that no other industry enjoys: complete exemption from traditional publisher liability in exchange for providing a forum free of political censorship," Hawley said in a press release. "Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, big tech has failed to hold up its end of the bargain.
Facebook and Twitter declined to comment.
Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, introduced the original Communications Decency Act of 1996 in the House of Representative when he was a Congressman at the time. He tweeted Wednesday that Sen. Hawley's legislation as a violation of the First Amendment and would make the government the "speech police." He also says the Senator from Missouri's legislation didn't grasp Section 230 of the act.
The Internet Association -- a trade association representing Facebook, Twitter, Google and other tech companies on matters of public policy -- says the companies it represents share the same goal as Hawley but take issue with his legislation.
"This bill forces platforms to make an impossible choice: either host reprehensible, but First Amendment protected speech, or lose legal protections that allow them to moderate illegal content like human trafficking and violent extremism," Michael Beckerman, Internet Association president and CEO, said in a statement Wednesday. "That shouldn't be a tradeoff."
Watch this: Facebook's a giant, but its supporters don't think it needs to split up
Last July, representatives from Google, Facebook and Twitter testified in a congressional hearing that their respective companies made mistakes on what content gets published, but that they aren't censoring with a political bias.