ICYMI: “Bills meant to check Big Tech’s power could lead to more disinformation”

Washington, D.C. (06/06/2022) – A new opinion piece in the Washington Post outlines how legislation like the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (S. 2992) would facilitate the spread of misinformation and propaganda and undermine the ability of companies to combat hate speech disinformation online. 

Bills meant to check Big Tech’s power could lead to more disinformation

The Washington Post

By: Jane Bambauer and Anupam Chander

June 6, 2022

…But the bills would hand the makers of services and apps that give free rein to hate speech and disinformation a powerful weapon to use in court: If Apple or Google kicked them out of app stores, or downgraded them in search results, these companies could argue that the decisions weren’t about content moderation at all, but rather market domination.

At the least, such claims would have to be litigated — a costly proposition, with no guarantee of victory. Alternatively, Apple, Google and other companies might become less vigilant about screening out hate speech and disinformation. You can be wary of Big Tech’s market power and still think the implication of these bills for the speech that is spread online is extremely bad…

…To get a sense of the possible unintended consequences of these bills, consider what happened after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection. Amazon, Apple and Google banned the social-media site Parler from their app stores and hosting services, arguing that the company was allowing speech that promoted hate and violence on its site. Under current law, these companies were and are well within their legal rights to host or oust whomever they like. But if these bills pass, Parler — or sympathetic state attorneys general like Texas’s Ken Paxton (R) — could sue, arguing that the app was treated worse than other similar apps…

To read the full article, click here

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