“We need transparency—and action—on the algorithms that govern so much of our lives.”

WASHINGTON – Last week, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chairwoman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, authored an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal outlining policy solutions to rein in social media companies and protect users. 

In the piece, which is one in a series of op-eds published by the Wall Street Journal addressing “how to fix social media,” Klobuchar wrote that “we have to come at this from multiple angles,” highlighting the need for updated privacy and antitrust laws in addition to transparency about algorithms and the use of kids’ data.

“For too long, social media companies essentially have been saying “trust us, we’ve got this,” but that time of blind trust is coming to an end,” Klobuchar wrote.

“We need transparency—and action—on the algorithms that govern so much of our lives.”

More from the op-ed:

  • “If you have a Facebook account, your data brought in $51 to Facebook last quarter. That’s because even though Facebook presents itself as a free service, it uses its platform to gather personal data and sell targeted ads, turning its own users into profit centers—and our lack of data privacy laws helps its bottom line.”
  • “Facebook knows that the more time users spend on its platforms, the more data it can collect and monetize. Time and time again, it has put profits over people.”
  • “We need to make sure that Americans can control how their data gets collected and used...We need a national privacy law now.”
  • “Right now, American kids are being overwhelmed by harmful content—and we don’t have nearly enough information about what social media companies are doing with their data.”
  • “One reason Facebook can get away with this behavior is because it knows consumers don’t have alternatives. In CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s own words in a 2008 email, ‘It is better to buy than compete.’”
  • “Between Facebook’s role in promoting health misinformation during the pandemic and Instagram’s directing kids to accounts that glorify eating disorders, it’s clear that online algorithms can lead to real-world harm. Congress has to look at how harmful content is amplified.”

Read the full piece here.

# # #