For Immediate Release: December 1, 2021
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Color Of Change Calls for Section 230 Reform, Antitrust Action at House Energy and Commerce Committee Hearing on Holding Big Tech Accountable
NATIONWIDE — Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson released the following statement summarizing his testimony today at the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s hearing, “Holding Big Tech Accountable: Targeted Reforms to Tech's Legal Immunity”:
“Big Tech corporations like Facebook, Amazon and Google maintain near-total control over all three areas of online life: online commerce, online content, and online environments for social connection. To keep control, they lie to the public, to regulators, and to legislators about the harmful effects of their products. And when Big Tech gets away with lying, they are forcing Black people, and others who have been exploited by one industry after the next, to pay for Big Tech’s profits with their lives.
These corporations are creating endless backdoors and runarounds against laws created to protect us from discrimination, predatory marketing, health-related misinformation, violence and harassment. They would love Congress to pass laws that mimic their own corporate policies — fake solutions that are ineffective and designed to protect nothing more than their profits and power. We can’t let that happen.
Responsibility without accountability isn't responsibility at all. Congress must take antitrust action seriously and end Big Tech’s massive concentration of power, including their systematic suppression of competition in the industry. We also need well-vetted amendments to Section 230 that make clear online platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter — which make money from the content published by their users and advertisers — are clearly responsible and liable for minimizing the adverse impact of the content from which they so greatly profit. Additionally, Big Tech’s products must be subject to regulatory scrutiny and approval before they are released to the public and hurt people, and only independent auditors can ensure Big Tech corporations do what they refuse to do on their own: evaluate algorithms and other products for bias, discrimination and harmful impact.
We must not allow the very technology that was supposed to take us into the future to drag us backward and into the past. Big Tech corporations put Black people and people of color in danger more than anyone else. At the end of the day, the right approach is not complicated. If you make the internet safe for those who are being hurt the most — those put in the greatest danger — then you automatically make the system safer for everyone. That is a simple but profound truth of societal progress.”
Rashad Robinson’s full testimony can be found here.
About Color Of Change:
Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by over 7 million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America. Visit www.colorofchange.org.