For Immediate Release: November 17th, 2022
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Color Of Change Launches “Black Tech Agenda Scorecard” to Rank Congressional Efforts in Tech Policy
Racial justice organization links ongoing tech policy with racial justice progress
NATIONWIDE — Color Of Change, the nation’s largest online racial justice organization, today launched their “Black Tech Agenda Scorecard” as a way to analyze ongoing Congressional efforts in tech policy. The scorecard measures how members of key committees of jurisdictions (the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the House Judiciary Committee, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee) align with the policy solutions outlined in the Black Tech Agenda.
The organization has long advocated for real solutions that help advance racial justice by creating an index for key decision makers and elected officials that have the power to regulate Big Tech by enacting antitrust policies, among others. The scorecard is one of the first-of-its-kind in directly measuring tech justice commitments by key congressional members. As misinformation runs rampant throughout the recent midterm elections, civil rights safeguards are under by new Twitter leadership, and consolidated monopoly power threatens Black people’s safety online, Congress is one of our strongest tools to curb the outsized power in the tech industry, It is past time we rein in Big Tech, because self regulation equals no regulation.
The Black Tech Agenda Scorecard uses the six pillars of the Black Tech Agenda, which prioritize the safety of Black communities and users online, to measure congressional action to advance racial justice in tech policy:
- Advancing Robust Antitrust Policy: Create fair markets where Black businesses can compete, Black workers can thrive and Black people have abundant options.
- Protecting Privacy and Ending Surveillance: Ban companies from using harmful practices and law enforcement from using biometric surveillance technology.
- Preventing Algorithmic Discrimination: Require companies to address discrimination in their decision-making through independent audits and repair the harm that has happened;
- Expanding Broadband Access: Ensure everyone has high quality, affordable internet;
- Supporting Net Neutrality: Treat all internet traffic equally and designate the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as its regulatory body; and
- Addressing the Disinformation and Misinformation Crisis: Change the incentives for profiting from harm by regulating optimization algorithms and enforcing civil rights laws online.
Each of the 148 Congressmembers included receives a rating for their work in the pillars of action. Receiving full, partial, or no credit, the scorecard plainly analyzes the elected officials’ efforts in advancing strong tech policy and curtailing Big Tech’s unchecked power. The methodology for scores included survey responses, bill sponsorship, and public support for key legislation. Graded members belong to the Congressional committees that hold power to introduce effective legislation. With the remainder of the 117th Congressional session, there is still an opportunity to introduce new bills that address the Scorecard pillars and set a precedent for the following legislative sessions.
“Congress has the power to make the Big Tech platforms safer — our job is to make sure they’re using their power to do it,” said Rashad Robinson, president of Color Of Change. “The Black Tech Agenda Scorecard exposes which members of Congress are taking their job seriously and which are giving Big Tech a big pass — serving as the enablers of profoundly negative impact on Black lives. The pillars of the Black Tech Agenda show the way forward: the regulations that are needed to ensure equitable access, safety, and privacy for Black users online. Analyzing the work done (or not) by the 117th Congress, the Black Tech Scorecard presents a sober assessment of where we are today and the action that the next Congress will need to take in order to improve safety and reduce Big Tech’s systemic and harmful impact on our lives.”
Color Of Change has been a leading organization in the call for comprehensive regulation from Congressional oversight and pulling in the reins on Big Tech’s unchecked power. From leading advertising regulations on Facebook through #StopHateForProfit to spearheading in-depth and independent racial equity audits and ongoing efforts to hold Twitter leadership accountable, the organization, backed by its 7 million members, is committed to promoting a digital world rooted in equity and justice.
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 governments to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America. Visit www.colorofchange.org.