2023 will be the year of social media regulation, congressmen promise

Will 2023 mark the end of digital liberalism on social networks in the United States? Several members of the US Congress are advocating for stricter regulation of online platforms. Republicans and Democrats hope to be able to pass one or more laws aimed at limiting the power of the Internet giants. Wisconsin Representative Mike Gallagher (Republican) expressed his fears at length this Sunday, January 1, on set Meet The Press from NBC.

TikTok, the pet peeve of Congress?

Mike Gallagher is not tender with social networks, particularly with the youngest, TikTok. The Chinese social network is the subject of a bill aimed at prohibiting its use on American soil. The main supporter of the text, Gallagher reiterated his remarks and called TikTok “digital fentanyl” (strong painkiller).

According to him, the prohibition of the application at the national level is a matter of time. “It is highly addictive and destructive. We see disturbing data on the corrosive impact of the constant use of social media, especially on young men and women here in America“, he explained, referring to TikTok and more generally social networks in the United States. Mike Gallagher also accuses the application of being operated by the Chinese Communist Party, via its parent company ByteDance.

Negotiations bogged down

Accusations repeated for several months across the Atlantic by part of the national representation, the excessive proximity between ByteDance and the Beijing authorities being regularly castigated. An agreement has been under negotiation between TikTok and the Committee for Foreign Investment in the United States since 2020 to provide sufficient national security guarantees. The presumed lack of progress in the discussions is now beginning to annoy some lawmakers.

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For its part, TikTok did not fail to respond to Gallagher’s latest accusations this Sunday. “The Chinese Communist Party has no direct or indirect control over ByteDance or TikTok“, indicates the social network in a statement to CNN. And to add:ByteDance is a privately-held global company, nearly 60% owned by global institutional investors, with the remainder held primarily by the company’s founders and employees — including thousands of Americans.

The pressure of “technology lobby

Whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee, also called during Meet The Press on the parliamentary chambers to pass new laws to regulate all social networks. TikTok, Twitter or even YouTube should be required to be more transparent about the operation of their algorithms, argues the ex-Metamate. And to spin the metaphor: “It’s as if we were in 1965 and we didn’t yet have seat belt laws.

Asked about the subject, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar warns against the pressure exerted by the “technology lobby“when new laws are about to be voted on in Parliament. The”strong bipartisan support“between Republicans and Democrats can suddenly collapse”in 24 hours.” “We are behind. It’s time for 2023 to be our resolution, that we finally pass one of these laws“, she launched on NBC, referring to the regulation of social networks.

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