Big Tech Needs To Be Regulated. Here Are 4 Ways to Curb Disinformation and Protect Our Privacy

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Recent months have seen mounting evidence that the algorithmic spread of hate speech, disinformation, and conspiracy theories by major internet platforms has undermined America’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has also increased political polarization and helped enable white supremacist organizations. As the Big Tech titans appear before Congress there are increasing calls for regulation of Facebook, YouTube, and others. And, finally, some advertisers on which internet platforms depend for revenue are voicing concern. StopHateForProfit.org, a campaign organized by the civil rights organizations NAACP, ADL, Color of Change, FreePress, and Common Sense Media, has attracted more than 1,100 marketers who are pausing advertising on Facebook for a month or more to protest the amplification of hate on that platform.
Demands from policy makers for change began nearly a decade ago, when the Federal Trade Commission entered into a consent decree with Facebook designed to prevent the platform from sharing user data with third parties without prior consent. As we learned with the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook paid lip service to that consent decree, following a pattern of “apologize, promise to do better, return to business as usual” that persists to this day. Other platforms, especially Google and Twitter, have …

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