WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released a statement regarding the Senate Commerce Committee’s hearing on Section 230 with tech CEOs today:
“It saddens me that some of my colleagues have joined in the Trump Administration’s cynical and concerted effort to bully platforms into allowing dark money groups, right-wing militias and even the President himself to continue to exploit social media platforms to sow disinformation, engage in targeted harassment, and suppress voter participation. We can and should have a conversation about Section 230 – and the ways in which it has enabled platforms to turn a blind eye as their platforms are used to facilitate discrimination and civil rights violations, enable domestic terrorist groups to organize violence in plain sight, assist in stalking and networked harassment campaigns, and enable online frauds targeted at vulnerable users. But that conversation should be thoughtful and not serve as a cudgel to cow the platforms into continued inaction regarding efforts to manipulate their services 6 days ahead of the election.”
Sen. Warner has written and introduced a series of bipartisan bills designed to protect consumers and reduce the power of giant social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google. Among these are the Designing Accounting Safeguards to Help Broaden Oversight And Regulations on Data (DASHBOARD) Act – bipartisan legislation to require data harvesting companies to tell consumers and financial regulators exactly what data they are collecting from consumers and how it is being leveraged by the platform for profit; the Deceptive Experiences To Online Users Reduction (DETOUR) Act – bipartisan legislation to prohibit large online platforms from using deceptive user interfaces to trick consumers into handing over their personal data; and the Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching (ACCESS) Act – bipartisan legislation to encourage market-based competition to dominant social media platforms by requiring the largest companies to make user data portable – and their services interoperable – with other platforms, and to allow users to designate a trusted third-party service to manage their privacy and account settings, if they so choose.