Today, Energy and Commerce Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) sent a clear message to Big Tech—their platforms are her biggest fear as a parent.
“10 years ago—when I joined Big Tech platforms—I thought they would be a force for good.I thought they would help us build relationships and promote transparency in Congress.
“I can testify today, I was wrong. That is not what has transpired.You’ve broken my trust.“Yes, because you’ve failed to promote the battle of ideas and free speech.Yes, because you censor political viewpoints you disagree with.
“But, do you know what has convinced me Big Tech is a destructive force? It’s how you’ve abused your power to manipulate and harm our children.”
It’s time for Big Tech to come to the table for meaningful change and complete transparency on how their business model is harming children.
The pressure is on. Check out this coverage from the Big Tech hearing.
BLAZE MEDIA: Committee ranking member Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), in her passionate opening statement, accused Big Tech platforms of failing to keep their promise to help people connect and build relationships.
Visibly angry, the lawmaker concluded with a personal ultimatum to Big Tech companies:
“I have two daughters and a son with a disability. Let me be clear, I do not want you defining what is true for them. I do not want their future manipulated by your algorithms. I do not want their self-worth defined by the engagement tools you built to attract their attention. I do not want them to be in danger from what you’ve created. I do not want their emotions and vulnerabilities taken advantage of so you can make more money and have more power.
“Over 20 years ago, before we knew what Big Tech would become, Congress gave you liability protections. I want to know, why do you think you still deserve those protections today?
“What will it take for your business model to stop harming children?”
BUSINESS INSIDER: Republican Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington said Facebook, Twitter, and Google’s platforms are “my biggest fear as a parent.”
The comment was made during a congressional hearing on misinformation, one that was scheduled after internet platforms have grappled with both misinformation and disinformation, or misleading content that is deliberately spread.
THE FEDERALIST: Rodgers and House Republicans developed a “Big Tech Accountability Program” at the beginning of the year in-part aimed at addressing how Big Tech “hurts children” and “uses algorithms to drive addiction,” as well as the role the companies play “in child grooming and trafficking.”
“What will it take for your business model to stop harming children?” Rodgers said at the hearing.
So far the biggest takeaways to me have been:
1. FB and GOOG being unable to unambiguously acknowledge their platforms may have contributed to the Capitol violence
2. Republicans’ new line of attack based on children’s mental health, which may prove significant strategically
— Brian Fung (@b_fung) March 25, 2021
McMorris Rodgers links social media to suicide: ‘Your platforms are my biggest fear as a parent’ https://t.co/LGmOI1bAFV
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) March 25, 2021
Powerful opener from @cathymcmorris in tech CEO hearing:
“Do you know what has convinced me Big Tech is a destructive force? It’s how you’ve abused your power to manipulate and harm our children.
Your platforms are my biggest fear as a parent.”
— Ylan Q. Mui (@ylanmui) March 25, 2021