House Democrats target algorithms in liability shield bill

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Leaders of a powerful House committee are taking aim at the liability shield of websites in a new bill that would remove protections from recommended content if they cause real-world harm.

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big picture: The bill is the latest attempt to bend the shield of technology, following growing frustration from both Democrats and Republicans about Facebook, YouTube and Twitter’s content moderation practices.

Catch up soon: Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protects websites from liability over content posted by their users, such as comments posted on Facebook.

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running news: House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallons (D-NJ) Justice Against Malicious Algorithms Act Section 230 protection for online platforms will be removed if:

  • They knowingly or recklessly use a personalized recommendation algorithm, and:
  • The algorithm recommends content that materially contributes to physical or serious emotional injury.

What are they saying: “The time for self-regulation is over, and this bill holds them accountable,” Palone said in a statement. You should answer for this. “

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Flashback: The bill, to be introduced Friday, was also sponsored by Communications Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), Consumer Protection Subcommittee Chair Jan Schakowski (D-Ill.), and Health Subcommittee Chair Anna Eshu (D-Cal.) Is.

  • Lawmakers promised action against tech companies in March during a controversial hearing with CEOs of Facebook, Twitter and Google.

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