A handful of global corporations have taken control of the internet, the dominant medium of modern communication and commerce, and have used that control to create and sell databases of personal information of Americans and to systematically amplify dangerous disinformation and violence on an unprecedented scale. This has created a growing threat to our democracy and our people.
While our elected officials and many in the media claim to recognize the danger, a corporate-friendly First Amendment absolutism and misguided fears about chilling voices on the internet have preempted any serious effort at reform or regulation. Neither the First Amendment nor the desire to protect the robust exchange of ideas on the internet justifies this inaction. Instead, legislation that would protect personal privacy and autonomy on the internet and hold Big Tech companies accountable for promoting fraudulent disinformation and violence would be consistent with the First Amendment and would, in fact, strengthen the free exchange of ideas on the internet.
Ben Clements, THE BIG TECH ACCOUNTABILITY ACT: REFORMING HOW THE BIGGEST CORPORATIONS CONTROL AND EXPLOIT ONLINE COMMUNICATIONS, 44 W. New Eng. L. Rev. 5 (2022), https://digitalcommons.law.wne.edu/lawreview/vol44/iss1/2