Congress Takes Aim at the Algorithms

It wasn’t long ago that congressional hearings about Section 230 got bogged down in dismal exchanges about individual content moderation decisions: Why did you leave this up? Why did you take that down? A new crop of bills suggests that lawmakers have gotten a bit more sophisticated.

At a hearing on Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee discussed several proposals to strip tech companies of legal immunity for algorithmically recommended content. Currently, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act generally prevents online platforms from being sued over user-generated content. The new bills would, in various ways, revise Section 230 so it doesn’t apply when algorithms are involved.

Content moderation, on

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