Bipartisan bills want to break the algorithm-stranglehold of social platforms
The Future. The House of Representatives and the Senate have introduced complementary bills to force social platforms to offer algorithm-less versions of their services. If the bills become law, it could open the door to users curating their online experience to how they see fit.
Congressional representatives from both sides of the aisle are done with algorithms dictating user experience on social platforms.
- In the House, the Filter Bubble Transparency Act was introduced, which would force social platforms to make available a version of the service that does not use “opaque algorithms” driven by personal data.
- It’s sponsored by Representatives Ken Buck (R-Colo.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Lori Trahan (D-Mass.), and Burgess Owens (R-Utah).
- The bipartisan Senate version of the bill was sponsored by Republican Senator John Thune (R-S.D.).
The proposed bills would exempt companies with less than 500 employees, make less than $50 million in annual revenue, and have fewer than a million users… making it crystal clear which platforms these bills are aimed at.
Decoupling social platforms from their algorithms has quickly become a popular proposed solution to how these services create echo chambers, fuel extremism, and step on user privacy. Representative Buck and Senator Thune announced that going forward; they would be working together on tackling these issues and other antitrust concerns — showing that stripping power from tech is one of the most unifying subjects on Capitol Hill.
For what it’s worth, some platforms are already seeing the anti-algorithm writing on the wall. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey wants to build a marketplace where people can choose what algorithm they want to be controlled by. In other words, “pick your poison.”