Controlling TwitterFB, other digital platforms, Colorado Bennet seeks new organizational structure

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The legislation also gives the commission the authority to identify “systemically important digital platforms” subject to extra oversight. That designation would apply to digital companies with a significant following, which conduct business across America or internationally, and whose work hold “significant nationwide economic, social, or political impacts.”

The requirements appear to squarely take aim at social media companies, such as Twitter, Facebook and Google.

Their operations, the legislation added, have also undermined privacy, monetized personal data, and “radicalized” individuals.

Indeed, the legislation took a decidedly grim view of social media companies, saying their “unregulated policies and operations” have, at times, “produced demonstrable harm,” such as by undercutting small businesses, “abetting the collapse” of local journalism, enabling addiction particularly among minors, and “disseminating disinformation and hate speech.”

Story Highlights

  • The legislation establishes a five-member Federal Digital Platform Commission, giving it the authority to hold hearings, conduct investigations and establish rules for digital platforms, according to Bennet’s office.

  • It also applies to platforms that “significantly shape the national dissemination of news and the ability of the platform to cause a person significant, immediate, and demonstrable economic, social, or political harm by exclusion from the platform.”

“As a country, we should take pride that most of the world’s leading tech companies were founded in America. But they aren’t start-ups anymore. Today they rank among the most powerful companies in human history. It’s past time for a thoughtful and comprehensive approach to regulating digital platforms that have amassed extraordinary power over our economy, society, and democracy,” Bennet in a statement.

“We don’t have to choose between letting digital platforms write their own rules, allowing competitors like China and the E.U. write those rules, or leaving it to politicians in Congress. We should follow the long precedent in American history of empowering an expert body to protect the public interest through common sense rules and oversight for complex and powerful sectors of the economy.”

Bennet unveiled the legislation a day after news broke that Elon Musk, who is buying Twitter, said he wants former President Donald Trump back on Twitter.