Latest in Gear

Image credit:

Congress plans to investigate how social media giants are fighting hate

House lawmakers are planning legislation to probe tech giants.
Christine Fisher, @cfisherwrites
September 18, 2019
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Mark Wilson via Getty Images

House lawmakers plan to unveil legislation to study the ways social media can be weaponized, The Washington Post reports. They want to better understand social media-fueled violence and to determine if tech giants are doing enough to effectively protect users from harmful content. Congress isn't just looking at what tech giants say they'll do to fight online hate and extremism. Lawmakers want to know if those efforts are effective or not.

The bill would create a "national commission" at the Department of Homeland Security. The commission would have the authority to hold hearings and issue subpoenas. It would also create a social media task force to coordinate the government's response to security issues. The legislation could be introduced as soon as next week, The Washington Post says.

Today, representatives from Facebook, Google and Twitter appeared in a hearing before Senate lawmakers. The hearing questioned whether the platforms have become conduits for real-world violence. All three companies say they've improved their systems, but some lawmakers say they're not doing enough.

The companies are also facing pressure from major civil rights groups. Yesterday, several groups wrote a letter saying tech giants have a "moral responsibility" to better combat how social media can be used "to inflict fear and spread hate." While there have been attempts to make the internet safer -- like Facebook's plans to train its AI with police body camera footage -- whether or not those efforts are effective is another question.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Get ready to raid 'Ghost of Tsushima' on October 30th

Get ready to raid 'Ghost of Tsushima' on October 30th

View
'Uncharted' set photos offer our first look at Tom Holland as Nathan Drake

'Uncharted' set photos offer our first look at Tom Holland as Nathan Drake

View
Amazon Echo (2020) review: Small in stature, mighty in sound

Amazon Echo (2020) review: Small in stature, mighty in sound

View
'If Found...' brings queer '90s nostalgia to Nintendo Switch today

'If Found...' brings queer '90s nostalgia to Nintendo Switch today

View
Apple adds HDR support to iMovie just in time for the iPhone 12

Apple adds HDR support to iMovie just in time for the iPhone 12

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr