Thune: Digital Consumers Deserve and Expect Adequate Online Control and Protection
“I believe the PACT Act strikes the right balance and I am committed to achieving a meaningful, bipartisan approach to Section 230 reform that can be enacted into law sooner rather than later.”
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WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, today led a hearing titled, “The PACT Act and Section 230: The Impact of the Law that Helped Create the Internet and an Examination of Proposed Reforms for Today’s Online World,” to examine online platforms’ content moderation practices and to discuss what legislative measures can be taken to ensure consumers are protected and empowered while on the internet. During the hearing, Thune questioned experts on transparency requirements that could be used to protect consumers online.
“The reality is that the platforms have a strong incentive to exercise control over the content each of us sees, because if they can present us with content that will keep us engaged on the platform, we will stay on the platform longer,” saidThune. “Moderation is an important function that platforms must provide in order to deliver a valuable experience to their users. Unfortunately, it’s hard for users to get good information about how content is moderated. The Internet has evolved significantly since Section 230 was enacted. Long gone are the days of the online bulletin boards. Today, internet platforms have sophisticated content moderation tools, algorithms, and recommendation engines to promote content and connect users, all optimized toward keeping every user engaged on the platform. The platforms have monetized these systems through targeted advertising and related businesses and have consequently become some of the largest companies in the world. Moreover, these platforms have become essential to our daily lives, as many Americans live, work, and communicate increasingly online.”
On June 24, 2020, Thune joined Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), ranking member of the subcommittee, in introducingthe Platform Accountability and Consumer Transparency (PACT) Act, bipartisan legislation to update Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The PACT Act would strengthen transparency in the process online platforms use to moderate content and hold those companies accountable for content that violates their own policies or is illegal.