US Lawmakers Propose Legislation to Address Discriminatory Algorithms on Online Platforms

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American politicians are seeking to compel online platforms to disclose details about their algorithmic workings and require companies to allow government intervention if evidence of user discrimination based on factors such as race or gender is found. A corresponding bill was introduced in the US government this week.

Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Representative Doris Matsui have introduced the “Algorithmic Justice and Online Platform Transparency Act,” which seeks to prohibit the use of discriminatory or “harmful” decision-making algorithms employed by online platforms. The bill also establishes security standards, requires platforms to provide plain explanations of their algorithmic principles used on websites, and mandates the publication of annual reports on content moderation methods. It also creates a special government group to investigate instances of algorithmic discriminatory behavior.

If passed, the proposed bill would apply to online platforms or any commercial public websites and applications that “facilitate the provision of a platform for user-generated content.” This could include social networking sites, content aggregation services, or platforms for media and file sharing. The initial version of the bill was introduced by Markey and Matsui in 2021 and was referred to the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, but no further progress was made.

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Martin Harris
I'm Martin Harris, a tech writer with extensive experience, contributing to global publications. Trained in Computer Science, I merged my technical know-how with writing, becoming a technology journalist. I've covered diverse topics like AI and consumer electronics, contributing to top tech platforms. I participate in tech events for knowledge updating. Besides writing, I enjoy reading, photography, and aim to clarify technology's complexities to readers.

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