PROMISE Act would Require Transparent, Unbiased Content Moderation Policies
Mar 01 2021
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) have introduced the Promoting Responsibility Over Moderation In the Social Media Environment (PROMISE) Act, legislation to hold Big Tech companies accountable for their promises to not operate their social medial platforms with political bias.
“Social media platforms that promise to be free and open marketplaces of ideas should abide by these assurances,” said Sen. Moran. “This legislation would hold Big Tech companies accountable for not following their own content moderation policies which prevent them from unfairly discriminating against groups and individuals for their political beliefs.”
“The billionaires who own our nation’s Big Tech companies have every right to be partisan political actors,” said Sen. Lee. “They do not have the right to tell consumers that they will provide unbiased platforms, and then use those same platforms to discriminate against Americans with opposing religious, philosophical, or political viewpoints.”
“It’s wrong for Jack Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg and others in the Big Tech community to falsely claim their platforms are unbiased and then censor conservatives, and the PROMISE Act will finally hold Silicon Valley accountable,” said Sen. Braun.
The PROMISE Act would:
- Require a “covered entity” to implement, operate and disclose information moderation policies that explain the standards, processes and policies regarding its moderation of information provided by a user or other information content provider. Such policy must include:
- Categories of information not permitted on its service or subject to moderation by users or the entity itself.
- The process used in moderating content.
- The notification process (if any) utilized to inform users of a moderation action taken, the rationale for the moderation decision and options for redress (if any).
- Prohibit a “covered entity” from making a “deceptive policy statement” with respect to its information moderation policy. A “deceptive policy statement” carries with it a rebuttable presumption that a statement is material and likely to cause injury.
- Make violations of the requirements to implement, operate or disclose an “information moderation policy” or to not make a “deceptive policy statement” constitute an unfair or deceptive act or practice in violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 45(a)).
The full text of the PROMISE Act can be viewed here.