Reacting to yesterday’s congressional hearing and testimony by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, in an opinion piece for The New York Times, former Facebook data scientist Roddy Lindsay agreed with Haugen’s proposed solution to address the problem of big tech platforms spreading harmful misinformation and fake news – make the platforms liable for content they promote via their algorithms. Lindsay and Haugen suggest that Congress reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which currently protects the tech platforms from such liability.
News Media Alliance President & CEO, David Chavern, made a similar suggestion last year in an op-ed in WIRED, stating, “Limiting Section 230 and making the platforms responsible for content they decide to promote and amplify would, at the very least, require the platforms to carefully track and filter what they promote, and introduce incentives to support known sources of quality information.”
Lindsey is the Communications Director for the News Media Alliance. Prior to joining the Alliance, she led communications for a food and nutrition nonprofit in Washington, D.C. for over eight years.