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Bill Would Hold Tech Companies Responsible When Their Algorithms Promote Extremist Content

On Tuesday, House lawmakers proposed a bill that would require tech companies to be responsible for their algorithms’ promotion or amplification of extremist content interfering with civil rights. The legislation is called the Protecting Americans from Dangerous Algorithms Act and would apply to companies with more than 50 million users, therefore including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. The three social media giants have been struggling with addressing content such as QAnon conspiracy theories and misinformation, particularly with the upcoming election.

The legislation is designed to protect Americans from harmful misinformation while also ensuring that the right to free speech is maintained, according to the bill’s creators. The bill would amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which provides a liability shield for tech firms regarding third-party content shared on their platforms. The tech companies would now be held responsible for taking the content down. The legislation comes as Democrats have been pushing for stronger privacy laws and antitrust action against large tech firms over concerns of the proliferation of QAnon conspiracy theories and disinformation regarding Hunter Biden.

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