Legislation to combat social media hate

ALBANY, NY (Erie News Now)– Some New York State lawmakers are pushing for a bill that would require disclosure of certain social media terms of service. 

“We can’t trust these companies to control hatred on their own certainly not while they are actively profiting off of it,” said Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal (D-47th Senate District). 

The bill would require social media companies to post their terms of service in a manner designed to inform all users. It also provides remedies for violations and requires social media companies to submit certain terms of service reports to the Attorney General. 

Some advocates with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said this legislation would require greater transparency and accountability from social media companies and ultimately better protect targeted groups.

“Without proper transparency, we are unable to protect our youth from bullying, harassment, and possible indoctrination. We have a responsibility to ensure that everyone can safely navigate the internet,” said Beth Martinez, Education Director, New York State Capitol Office, ADL. 

Meta, the social media company owner of Instagram and Facebook, currently posts their terms of service on their website. They also have a transparency center outlining Facebook community standards. 

Meta stated in an email to Erie News Now they would not comment on this legislation.

Sen. Hoylman-Sigal said the way social media companies publish their content moderation policies is confusing.

“Platforms like Twitter and Facebook say they can handle the problem, but in reality, they’re hiding it,” said Hoylman-Sigal. 

The bill is currently on the floor calendar. 

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