Bipartisan Bill Would Eliminate Big Tech Algorithms For Users

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Published on 27 Nov 2021, 19:00
A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House of Representatives are currently drafting legislation that would force tech giants to offer algorithm-free searches and feeds for users. Users would be given the option to opt out of the algorithms or to leave them in place. This could easily help level the playing field for smaller content creators to gain access to a new audience, and that's always a positive thing. Ring of Fire's Farron Cousins discusses this.

Link - arstechnica.com/tech-policy/20...

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*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

There is a bipartisan bill being crafted in the US House of Representatives, bipartisan of course, Republicans working on it, Democrats working on it, everybody kind of coming together against a common enemy and the common enemy is big tech. And what this piece of legislation would do among other things, but this is the big part, is it would allow users of Google, Facebook, Twitter, whatever it is to have the option to view algorithm free content. Meaning if you were to type something into Google, if this became a law, you would get your Google search results and of course we all know that those are, to put a gently, corrupted by the algorithm. If you've searched for something before, if you've clicked on a website before, it's going to give you advertisements for things.

But you can click on a little button if this becomes law that will say, get rid of the algorithm and it'll just give you the results. You go onto Facebook and I'm sure a lot of people have noticed the same thing I noticed on Facebook, you really only tend to see the same people posting stuff, and it gets, it gets boring and horrible. But you click the little algorithm free button and you'll just see everything in order that it was posted from everyone, everyone that you haven't hidden already. Same thing with Twitter. Sometimes I will get on Twitter in the morning and I will have to scroll through 20 to 30 posts all from the last, you know, 12 hours from the Hill back to back to back to back because that's what the Twitter algorithm tries to feed me first thing in the morning. And yes, this does favor big companies. Yes, it favors the corporate news outlets. And that's why this is such a great piece of legislation.

Now God only knows what the final version is going to look like because I know Republicans are going to try to sneak in some scary crap. But to live algorithm free would be beneficial to independent media outlets. Imagine searching for information on a topic, you know, a newsworthy topic and not only being fed stories from CNN, Fox, NBC, ABC, actually getting real other opinions, real takes on it. This could help open people's eyes. This could help promote struggling independent media outlets out there. It would help to level the playing field and that's why I love this piece of legislation so much. It's sorely needed. It would absolutely help independent media outlets. And of course it would put big tech companies on notice that they are not immune from regulation.
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