Congress and the Biden Administration:

It’s time to upend Big Tech’s hate-and-lie-for-profit business model by:

1. Passing comprehensive federal privacy legislation.

  • Congress must pass a data-privacy law that limits the collection of our data, protects our civil rights, stops abusive practices, prohibits algorithmic discrimination and provides for proper oversight and enforcement, including regularly mandated transparency reports from the platforms.

2. Passing legislation to tax online advertising and direct those monies to support high-quality noncommercial and local journalism.

  • A 2-percent tax on the targeted-advertising revenues of the top-10 online platforms would yield more than $2 billion for a national endowment to support journalism that meets the needs of diverse communities.

3. Using existing authorities at various government agencies to regulate data collection and algorithmic decision-making in a coordinated fashion.

  • The Federal Trade Commission should use its existing authorities to investigate and enforce against harms caused by abusive commercial data practices, and launch a rulemaking proceeding to minimize data collection and discriminatory algorithmic practices.
  • The White House should develop an interagency task force to identify harmful data practices by social-media companies and take action against companies’ civil-rights violations.
  • All agencies with civil-rights authority and responsibilities should regulate data collection and algorithmic decision-making within their scope of authority and competence. This must be done in a coordinated fashion across the government.

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    Hold Facebook Accountable

    Tell Congress: Facebook Can’t Regulate Itself

    We have known for years that social media and tech platforms are vectors for extremism, racism, misogyny, lies and violence. And thanks to the brave actions of Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, federal regulators now have access to tens of thousands of pages of evidence that show:

    • Facebook exempts high-profile users from some or all of its rules
    • Instagram is harmful to millions of young users
    • In 2018, Facebook switched to a new algorithm that promotes objectionable or harmful content
    • Facebook’s own tools are used to sow doubt about COVID-19 vaccines
    • Facebook takes action on only 0.6% of violent or inciting content, allowing violence against ethnic minorities and political protesters

    It’s past time for policymakers in Washington to confront the hate-and-lie-for-profit business model of tech platforms. Policymakers must stop allowing companies like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to operate unchecked.

    We need to fundamentally reexamine the business model that amplifies the most extreme and hateful speech. Complex problems require complex solutions. We need a strategic set of solutions to meet the multifaceted challenges before us.

    Tell Congress and the Biden administration to take immediate action to hold Facebook accountable.