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Congress hasn't been able to make social media safer. Here's why

·1 min

Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing shed light on Congress’ struggle to pass meaningful legislation to regulate tech platforms and protect children online. Lobbying, partisanship, disagreements over privacy and free speech, and differing priorities on technology’s role all contribute to the gridlock. Tech companies’ lobbying power, including campaign contributions and the deployment of registered lobbyists, gives them a significant advantage. GOP infighting and lawmakers’ personal pride can hinder progress in passing legislation. Congressional leaders like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Mike Johnson also play pivotal roles in setting the legislative agenda. Despite agreement on the need for regulation, lawmakers have differing views on how to hold tech companies accountable. Contentious issues include the federal immunity law (Section 230) and tradeoffs involving law enforcement powers and content moderation. Some proposals may face constitutional hurdles. Both tech companies and consumer groups advocate for a national privacy law to regulate consumer data collection and usage.