Legislation involving hate speech, misinformation not to be taken lightly
9/15/2022, 6 p.m.
This fall, the United States Senate plans to vote on the American Innovation and Choice Online Act. While everyone agrees regulation is needed in regard to the tech industry, we, however, should not downplay some very legitimate concerns about problematic aspects in the Act.
If you are like me and concerned with online hate speech and misinformation, this legislation could impede the ability to control and/or remove this inflammatory and derisive content.
A letter sent in June by four leading Democratic senators to the bill’s chief sponsor, Sen. Amy Klobuchar where, per The Washington Post’s reporting, the senators wrote that the bill language could: “imperil current content moderation practices by putting competition policy in direct conflict with the ability of companies to take down hate speech, disinformation and misinformation.”
I am an active Virginia Democrat and I strongly believe that those Democratic senators’ concerns cannot be swept under the rug.
Is sensible technology regulation needed? Yes.
Should we barrel forward with a vote for a bill that could exacerbate online misinformation and hate speech that threatens our very democracy? No.
I ask our Virginia representatives to consider this when making their decision.