Big Tech may have to become more accountable and responsible under the leadership of President-elect Joe Biden. The concern is that huge firms whose strengths include volumes and volumes of user data are increasingly able to dictate how Americans communicate with one another. And both major political parties have weighed in.
They agree on one method of resolving those issues. Both Republicans and Democrats want to revoke Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects platform providers (tech companies) from legal action when users post objectionable content.
President Trump and Republican lawmakers have been critical on the censorship of conservative views; Democrats say the platforms don’t do enough to identify hate speech and violent content.
Biden believes the web platforms should be held liable when users post potentially harmful content. The New York Times emphasized his position on revoking 230 in a Thursday story.
The industry has a head start when it comes to addressing the issues, though. Facebook now has an oversight board, introduced in October, to act on issues including the need to remove certain content.
Twitter and Google also implemented new rules ahead of the election to fight a repeat of the 2016 Russian interference and to limit the spread of false election-related information.
“It was passed in 1996, and a lot has changed since then,” Anurag Lal, former director of the FCC’s National Broadband Task Force under President Obama and current CEO of Infinite Convergence, told Fox Business. “In 1996, Facebook did not exist, and now it has billions of users.”
Lal is hopeful that Biden will “look at” Section 230, which he said has been “extremely politicized” in recent years, and that there is “potential” for it to be updated.