South Dakota Senator’s plan to “fix” Facebook

Members of Congress agree: it’s time for new internet regulations, as made apparent during the Facebook whistleblower testimony this month on Capitol Hill.
Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 10:24 AM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Building on recent public attention surrounding recent social media mishaps, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) said there might be some bipartisan change “scrolling” into view.

One is the push to tear apart secret social media algorithms.

With the Filter Bubble Bill, lawmakers aim to make users aware of content manipulation and to require sites like Facebook to include content from outside of a user’s search history or interests.

There’s also the larger push for moderation transparency.

With another bill, a group of senators want to require sites to explain why a user’s content has been removed and give them a chance to repeal the decision.

“A couple pieces of legislation both of which we think kind of get at the heart of this issue and that is that fact that big tech companies now are moderating the content people see in a way that is very secret, very opaque,” said Sen. Thune.

These bills have bipartisan support, but they aren’t the only ideas for Congress to browse. There’s talk of creating a new federal agency to oversee the internet and discussions of other disclosure mandates.

It’s also important to note the last time lawmakers passed comprehensive internet reform was 25 years ago in 1996. Traditionally, the large tech companies have objected to specific Congressional proposals because of the constant evolving industry.

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