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Color Of Change Responds to Section 230 Hearing

For immediate release: October 29, 2020

Color Of Change Responds to Section 230 Hearing

NATIONWIDE — In response to the Senate committee hearing on Section 230, Color Of President Rashad Robinson released the following statement:

“While reforms to Section 230 are long overdue, Black people do not need political theater from members of Congress who have no intention of actually holding Big Tech accountable, but rather want to intimidate platforms into not enforcing their policies banning hateful, violent content and voter misinformation. This hearing was not about making meaningful reform to Section 230 — it was a strategically-timed attempt by Republicans in Congress to distract from the real threats that Black users face on Google, Twitter and Facebook every day.

Section 230 plays a critical role in ensuring a free and open Internet where advocacy groups like Color Of Change can organize, but it was never intended to provide billion dollar corporations a loophole to trample over hard-fought civil rights laws. We need federal oversight to stop Big Tech companies from enabling the spread of misinformation, voter suppression efforts and hateful content online, but hearings like this are not going to accomplish that.

These companies must center civil rights considerations in all content moderation policy decisions. Facebook only started to address civil rights issues once Color Of Change and our members demanded they conduct a civil rights audit. We hoped Google and Twitter would each commit to a civil rights audit during the Senate committee hearing, as both companies have not yet conducted one.

Once a new Congress is installed that reflects a fair election, we encourage the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation to convene a series of civil rights-focused hearings, restore funding for the Office of Technology Assessment, and equip regulators to protect all consumers and users on tech platforms.”

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