Reps. Tulsi Gabbard and Paul Gosar Introduce Bill to Prevent Unwanted Anti-Social Media Manipulation

October 5, 2020
Press Release
Washington, DCOn Friday, Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and Paul Gosar (AZ-04) introduced H.R.8515, the Don’t Push My Buttons Act, a bill which would reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act by limiting immunity from liability for online platforms that curate content for users based on collected personal data, unless users explicitly choose to receive curated content.
 
“Anti-social media companies treat us like products, exploiting and dehumanizing us for their own profits, without regard for the consequences. They intentionally create and fuel conflict and hate, causing physical, spiritual and mental suffering and pain. They are tearing us apart and destroying our nation,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “Our legislation takes the power out of the hands of anti-social media corporations and puts it into the hands of the people who use their platforms. We, the people, get to decide whether to subject ourselves to their manipulative algorithms. Their failure to comply lifts all legal immunity they currently enjoy so we can hold them accountable and liable for the devastation and suffering they leave in their wake.”
 
“Tech companies are making users the product. Google and others are collecting user data and manipulating users, often unwittingly. Some may find content curation options convenient, but many users are creeped out and manipulated by data collection and content curation regarding personal habits, preferences, or beliefs. The Don’t Push My Buttons Act empowers users to choose, or decline, custom content curation based on collected personal data, empowering users to protect themselves from unwanted manipulation online,” said Rep. Paul Gosar.
 
Background: Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act generally provides liability immunity for online companies that publish information provided by third-party users. The regulation creates a “Good Samaritan” liability protection for those running interactive computer services should they remove third-party materials deemed obscene or objectionable so long as it is done in good faith. The 1996 law sought to correct a New York State Supreme Court decision that held that an online bulletin board could be considered liable for the ostensibly defamatory posts of its users because it moderated posts and therefore acted analogously to a newspaper.
 
About Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is serving her fourth term in the United States House representing Hawai‘i’s Second District, and serves on the House Armed Services and Financial Services Committees. She previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Homeland Security Committee. She was elected to the Honolulu City Council in 2010, and prior to that at age 21, was elected to the Hawaiʻi State Legislature in 2002, becoming the youngest person ever elected in the state. Tulsi Gabbard has served in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard for over 17 years, is a veteran of two Middle East deployments, and continues to serve as a Major in the Army Reserves. Learn more about Rep. Tulsi Gabbard...
 
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