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Tags: bigtech | regulation | midterms

Lawmakers Push for Big Tech Regulations Ahead of 2022 Midterms

Lawmakers Push for Big Tech Regulations Ahead of 2022 Midterms
( Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 26 December 2021 12:53 PM

Lawmakers are pushing for 2022 passage of stricter regulations on social media and other internet platforms — despite fierce opposition from Big Tech and partisan differences, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

It may depend on whether or not President Joe Biden gets involved.

“The key is whether [President Joe] Biden personally gets involved and prioritizes passage,” said Cowen Washington Research Group in reference to one legislative plan to bar big tech companies from giving preference to their own products on their platforms.

In a statement, a senior administration official told the Journal that Biden has always backed measures including revising Section 230. the law that largely shields internet platforms from liability for user content on their sites.

“President Biden has long said the tech platforms must be held accountable for the harms that they cause and has been a strong supporter of fundamental reforms to achieve that goal,“ the unnamed official told the Journal.

”Privacy and antitrust reforms, as well as more transparency, should also all be on the table as we address the large platforms’ business models and the incentives they create to promote sensational and divisive content.”

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., the Senate’s No. 2-ranking Republican, has joined in the efforts to rein in Big Tech, sponsoring legislation requiring platforms to disclose the algorithms they use to rank searches, and give consumers an option for unfiltered searches.

“The White House has proven that it can get involved in legislative priorities when it wants to, so I hope the president and his team step up and provide some much-needed and long-overdue leadership on this front,” Thune said in a statement, the Journal reported.

Lawmakers say momentum for change was given a boost by disclosures of internal research that showed ill effects to users of the Instagram and Facebook platforms.

But large tech companies generally argue they try to give consumers meaningful choices in how their information is handled — and work hard to keep their platforms safe for users, including children. They also point out  how important their role is to the U.S. economy.

They also realize legislation may be moving fast, the Journal reported.

The first to move will likely be a measure that is perhaps the No. 1 concern for many of the tech giants, a bill designed to prevent companies from giving preference to their own products and services on their platforms.

Sponsored by Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., the measure has broad support among leaders of the Judiciary Committee. It is likely to be passed by the committee in the first few months of 2022, the Journal reported, citing unnamed sources.

“We know what we’re up against,” Klobuchar said, the Journal reported. “Not everything will pass…But we have to start moving.”

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Newsfront
Lawmakers are pushing for 2022 passage of stricter regulations on social media and other internet platforms - despite fierce opposition from Big Tech and partisan differences, the Wall Street Journal reported.
bigtech, regulation, midterms
457
2021-53-26
Sunday, 26 December 2021 12:53 PM
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