Congress Should NOT Blame Social Media Algorithms for Harmful Content, Says ITIF

October 15, 2021

WASHINGTON—Following Congress’ proposal to amend Section 230 to remove liability protections for platforms that use algorithms to spread harmful content, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the leading think tank for science and technology policy, released the following statement from Daniel Castro, vice president of ITIF: 

Everyone wants to get harmful content off social media. But penalizing social media sites for delivering personalized newsfeeds is not the answer. 

The alternatives to personalization are much worse: either chronological feeds littered with irrelevant posts or popularity-driven feeds that amplify misinformation and clickbait. 

Instead of blaming the algorithm, Congress should work with platforms to develop best practices for identifying and removing harmful content quickly and giving users the skills and tools they need to stay safe online.

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Congress Should NOT Blame Social Media Algorithms for Harmful Content, Says ITIF