U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) are pushing to hold Big Tech platforms accountable for using biased algorithms that take control away from consumers and alter the way users are able to see emails from political campaigns.
The Political BIAS Emails Act, or the Political Bias in Algorithm Sorting Emails Act, would create more transparency for consumers by revealing the censoring practices Big Tech platforms use to filter certain emails. Earlier this year, a non-partisan study found that Google’s algorithm, for instance, marked nearly 70 percent of emails from Republican campaigns during the 2020 election as spam compared to only 8 percent of emails from Democrat campaigns.
“When Big Tech targets and silences conservative voices and puts their thumb on the scale of our political process, they need to be held accountable and, at the very least, the public ought to know about it,” said Senator Ernst. “This measure prevents these platforms from playing favorites in our elections and ensures there is transparency around how they treat political campaigns from one party versus another.”
“For too long, Big Tech has enjoyed unchecked and expansive censorship power, which has largely targeted conservative voices,” said Senator Grassley. “It’s past time these companies are held accountable for manipulating algorithms that control what Americans see online, including in their email inboxes. This bill is another important step in my ongoing effort to rein in Big Tech and cultivate more transparency and accountability in the industry.”
The senators joined Senate Republican leaders John Thune (R-S.D.), Republican Whip; Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Republican Leader; John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference; Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee; Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee; and 20 of their Republican colleagues today in supporting the legislation.
Full text of the bill can be found here.