Cassidy, colleagues reintroduce legislation to provide public with transparency of social media platforms

Published 11:44 am Thursday, June 8, 2023

Special to the News Leader

U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La.; Chris Coon, D-Del.’ Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; John Cornyn, R-Texas; Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.; and Mitt Romney, R-Utah, have introduced the Platform Accountability and Transparency Act, a bipartisan bill to increase transparency around social media companies.

“It’s clear Big Tech companies will abuse their power when allowed to operate in the dark,” Cassidy said. “Congress needs the tools to hold these companies accountable. Our bill gives us transparency into data collection by social media companies.”

“Social media platforms shape the information that billions of people across the globe consume, but we still know far too little about how they operate and the impact they have on each of us and our society. Right now, Congress and the public have no way to verify whether or how safe these products really are,” said Coons. “We cannot continue to let platforms grade their own homework. That’s why I’m introducing the Platform Accountability and Transparency Act, which will give the public a data-driven understanding of the effects that these platforms have on our children, families, democracy, and national security. This bipartisan bill is a crucial step that will help ensure social media regulation addresses the problems facing our communities today.”

“Social media companies have said: ‘just trust us,’ while putting profits ahead of users’ safety, privacy, and well-being for too long. It’s time to start holding these platforms accountable for the dangerous lack of transparency behind their algorithms,” said Klobuchar. “Our bipartisan legislation will do just that, ensuring independent researchers can access platform data and better understand how their algorithms operate.”

“Social media platforms have given rise to new threats to our national security, our mental health, and our children, and we must better understand how these companies operate and their effect on society,” said Cornyn. “This legislation would strengthen independent researchers’ access to data from social media companies, and I urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to support it.”

“Social media platforms and their black box algorithms have fueled a mental health crisis in our country. By operating under a cloak of secrecy, Big Tech has been able to profit off the toxic content and addictive features it drives at users,” said Blumenthal. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant, which is why the public and independent researchers deserve access to companies’ data and practices. I’m proud to join my colleagues in this effort to strengthen transparency online.”

“The threat social media has on the well-being of our young people and our national security is becoming more and more evident,” said Romney. “By increasing data access and transparency, this legislation will help parents, policymakers, and researchers better understand the impacts social media has on society, and allow Congress to craft policies that create a healthier online experience for children and all Americans.”