Commentary: Platform Transparency Can Help Build Antitrust Cases

There is growing bipartisan concern over the power Silicon Valley’s oligopolies wield over American society. Amazon alone controls 72% of U.S. adult book sales, Airbnb accounts for a fifth of domestic lodging expenditures and Facebook accounts for almost three-quarters of social media visits. Just two companies, Apple and Google, act as gatekeepers to 99% of smartphones, while two others, Uber and Lyft, control 98% of the ride-share market in the U.S. Yet, for government to take robust antitrust action against Silicon Valley requires the kind of data it currently lacks: documenting the harm this market consolidation inflicts on consumers. A new RealClearFoundation report offers a look at how amending Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to require platform transparency could aid such antitrust efforts.

When it comes to Silicon Valley’s social media platforms, they have long argued that antitrust laws don’t apply to them because their services are provided free of charge. In reality, users do pay for their services: with their data rather than their money. Companies today harvest vast amounts of private information about their users every day, using that data to invisibly nudge their users toward purchases and consuming ads, or the companies simply sell that data outright.

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Sen. Josh Hawley Proposes Bill Holding Tech Companies Liable for Harm to Children

Sen. Josh Hawley introduced a bill Thursday removing liability protections from tech platforms that harm children.

The bill would amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to strip liability protections from social media services that are found to have caused “bodily injury or harm to mental health” to users under the age of 16. This allows for users who suffer harm at the hands of social media companies to sue for damages.

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Democrats Unveil Bill That Would Limit Section 230 Protections

Democrats have unveiled a bill that would limit Section 230 liability shields for social media companies, Reuters reported.

The SAFE Tech Act, proposed by Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Mazie Hirono and Mark Warner, aims to hold social media companies accountable such as Alphabet Inc’s Google, Twitter and Facebook for “enabling cyber-stalking, targeted harassment, and discrimination on their platforms,” according to a statement, Reuters reported.

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Senator Marsha Blackburn’s New Bill Tackles Big Tech Censorship and ‘Fact-Checkers’

U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) is co-sponsoring a reform bill tackling Big Tech’s censorship and “fact-checking” policies. The bill, “Online Freedom and Viewpoint Diversity Act,” is a reform of Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act (CDA).
Section 230 hasn’t been updated in nearly 25 years. The goal of the reform is to “clarify the original intent of the law and examine Big Tech’s content moderation practices.”

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Facebook Removes Death Threats Toward Republicans After Florida Representative Matt Gaetz Called It Out

Matt Gaetz

by Kyle Perisic   Facebook removed a page Tuesday that posted incitements to violence and implied death threats after a Republican lawmaker called the company out. During a hearing Tuesday with representatives from Facebook, Twitter and Google, Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida asked Facebook’s Head of Global Policy Management Monika…

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