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Andrew Yang Wants To Tax Digital Ads, Launch a New Algorithm Regulator

Published by Slashdot on Fri, 15 Nov 2019


An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: On Thursday, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang put out a sweeping new tech policy proposal with a number of controversial proposals, including taxing digital ads and launching a new department to regulate algorithms on social networks. [...] In his Thursday blog post, Yang argues that his opponents' calls to break-up big tech firms like Facebook and Google fall short of protecting consumers from companies that prioritize "profits over our well-being." Yang's broad tech policy plan attacks the issues plaguing tech from four different angles: promoting a healthy relationship with tech, data ownership and privacy, fighting disinformation, and empowering the federal government with new guidelines and resources to tackle these issues. Ever since the 2016 election, platforms like Facebook and Twitter have been under fire by public advocates and lawmakers for their failures to remove disinformation from their platforms. In his tech proposal, Yang piggybacks on his digital ads VAT, suggesting that if it were implemented, there would be less false information on social media because platforms would become subscription-based and not be forced to accept advertising at all, let alone misleading political ads. There would also be significant new restrictions on how platforms like Facebook can target users with content. Any algorithms used by "platforms that allow political advertisements or the sharing of news stories" would be required to be open source or at least confidentially shared with Yang's "Department of the Attention Economy." All ads would have to be clearly labeled as such. Yang says he would amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act -- one of the most pivotal laws governing the internet -- but didn't specify what his amendment would look like. He also pledges to pass a "Digital Bill of Rights, ensuring ownership of data, control over how it's used, and compensation for its use" if he is elected president. Consumers could choose to opt in to have their data collected. "But then you should receive a share of the economic value generated from your data," Yang says.Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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