A new Senate bill promises to bring the Communications Decency Act’s well-known Section 230 into the modern era, although it might not make the Justice Department or President very happy. Democrat Senator Brian Schatz and Republican Senator John Thune have introduced the Platform Accountability and Consumer Transparency Act (PACT Act) with promises to make internet companies more responsible for their online moderation. Ideally, this makes it clear just what’s allowed on and removed from a given site without letting politicians “bully tech companies into political submission,” as Schatz told TechCrunch.
Companies would have to explain their moderation practices through a readily-available acceptable use policy. They’d have to provide quarterly, “disaggregated” reports on takedowns and other actions, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology would lead a “voluntary framework” for guidelines and best practices.