New legislation would require websites that use social media to “provide appropriate safeguards to prevent harassment, hate speech and other abusive content,” and would allow online communities to block or limit the content of others’ accounts.
The legislation is expected to pass both chambers of Congress, where the president and Senate majority leader have indicated they want to get rid of the “bully” filter that some critics have been pushing to make it easier to report and block online bullying.
Critics have argued that it would allow hate speech to be passed on to other people and groups without any accountability for it.
It would also make it harder for victims of online bullying to report abuse to law enforcement.
While the bill would provide the protections needed to protect users from abuse online, it would not do enough to curb it.
For example, the bill doesn’t require websites to “promote the safety and security of their users or the general public,” and it would also be up to each site to decide how to manage “cyberbullying.”
The bill would not provide legal protections for online content.
Some have argued the bill could also be used to punish those who report online bullying, as well as anyone who uses the Internet to spread “fake news.”
In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson said the company has been “deeply concerned about these concerns” and has “continuously worked with Congress and the Administration on this important legislation.”