Speed Reads

there must be 20 ways to fix Facebook

Democrats' broad plan to fix big tech

Big technology is becoming a big problem, and Democrats see at least 20 clear paths toward fixing it.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) has laid out 20 ways to tackle disinformation, user privacy, and monopolization within the tech world, Axios has learned. The policy paper has made its way around tech circles in recent weeks and reveals how Democrats plan to repair big tech if they regain Congress in November.

Concern over just how much technology companies know about their users reached its peak in March, when news broke that data firm Cambridge Analytica acquired private Facebook data from 50 million users. That, along with Russian interference in political speech and the growing spread of false information, sparked congressional hearings and a realization that the government needs to re-evaluate how it oversees big tech.

Warner has broken down those big issues into smaller problem areas, per his policy paper. To tackle disinformation, Warner proposes that platforms be required to label bots and fake accounts and determine exactly where posts come from, and even suggests government-run media literacy programs. To address data privacy, Warner wants internet providers, search engines, and social media networks to become "information fiduciaries," obligating them to protect user information. And as for big corporations' dominance, Warner suggests increasing transparency and developing laws that allow users to easily transfer between internet providers.

These policies would likely face a Republican blockade if introduced today, especially as major technology overhauls typically fizzle out before becoming law. But Axios suggests a Democratic congressional takeover in November could put these ambitious plans into action. Read the whole policy paper at Axios.