Congress May Be Getting Serious About Content Regulation

By on October 29, 2019

October 29, 2019

Representatives of Google and Reddit appeared before a joint House committee, along with some industry experts, and were subjected to a bipartisan grilling. This is new territory, according to website Wired: Unlike previous hearings on internet content problems, it didn’t deteriorate into grandstanding or asides over things like the social media habits of lawmakers’ grandchildren. Committee members from both parties seemed to agree there are big problems with internet content, and Mike Doyle, a Pennsylvania Democrat, warned that if the tech companies don’t come up with a fix, government will. One thing on the table is the possibility of amending Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which both protects tech companies from liability for what’s posted and allows them to censor user content. The pro-regulation bandwagon did not proceed without bumps, however. Testimony from the legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation including a warning about over-moderation, noting that automated filtering used by Tumblr to ban adult content managed to take down a patent application and a cartoon that featured a scorpion wearing a top hat.

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Wired

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