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US Lawmakers Call For More Legislation To Regulate Big Tech

 |  January 2, 2023

Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Mike Gallagher on Sunday voiced support for legislation to increase regulations on Big Tech, expressing their concerns on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Klobuchar, who has served as the chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights, said Big Tech is “so powerful” that even bipartisan legislation that passes through the Senate Judiciary Committee can vanish because companies step in.

Klobuchar had pushed for an end-of-year bill to require Big Tech to pay news outlets for the media content they distribute on their platforms, but she said Facebook and Google stepped in to lobby and block the bill.

Related: US Has New Legislation Regulating Chinese Big Tech

“We had such strong support for this bill, but these guys just make a few calls,” she said.

Klobuchar said a similar law passed in Australia despite the companies’ objections, and their systems are better as a result.

She said Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects social media platforms from responsibility for the content that users post online, is “archaic” and needs to be replaced. She said companies should be considered publishers, which would open them up to greater scrutiny for their content.

“Let’s just start facing the fact and stop pretending that they’re some little company in a garage,” she said.

Gallagher said he is somewhat concerned that repealing Section 230 could lead to greater censorship because platforms might proactively kick users off if they are afraid of facing lawsuits over their content, but greater transparency around the platforms’ algorithms is necessary.