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IBM CEO Ginni Rometty. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty said Monday that governments should rethink laws that shield “dominant online platforms” from being sued or penalized over the content they host.

Why it matters: Rometty is the latest tech leader to call for tighter regulation on the industry, especially when it comes to platform companies like Facebook and Google. Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview with “Axios on HBO” this month that new rules were “inevitable.” Making platforms liable for user content is one of the most aggressive options available to policymakers.

What they’re saying: “On liability, new thinking is needed,” Rometty said in Brussels. “Platforms which tolerate dissemination of illegal content should not be shielded from liability.”

  • She said that the company supported making platforms responsible for taking down terrorist content, and praised recent U.S. legislation that makes platforms liable if they knowingly publish content that enables sex trafficking of children.
  • In the United States, web platforms have been shielded from legal liability for user-contributed content by a 1996 law. Policymakers in Europe have had an easier time pitching speech-related restrictions in the absence of First Amendment-style protection for free expression.

The bigger picture: Rometty, like Cook, is trying to differentiate her company from Google and Facebook, whose ad platforms earn revenue in fundamentally different ways from IBM.

  • She said that in addition to liability for web platforms, European policymakers should focus on bringing more transparency to artificial intelligence.

Go deeper:

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Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch a fireworks show on the National Mall from the Truman Balcony at the White House on Wednesday night. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden signed his first executive orders into law from the Oval Office on Wednesday evening after walking in a brief inaugural parade to the White House with First Lady Jill Biden and members of their family. He was inaugurated with Vice President Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Many of Biden's day one actions immediately reverse key Trump administration policies, including rejoining the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization, launching a racial equity initiative and reversing the Muslim travel ban.

Republicans pledge to set aside differences and work with Biden

President Biden speaks to Sen. Mitch McConnell after being sworn in at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Several Republicans praised President Biden's calls for unity during his inaugural address on Wednesday and pledged to work together for the benefit of the American people.

Why it matters: The Democrats only have a slim majority in the Senate and Biden will likely need to work with the GOP to pass his legislative agenda.

The Biden protection plan

Joe Biden announces his first run for the presidency in June 1987. Photo: Howard L. Sachs/CNP/Getty Images

The Joe Biden who became the 46th president on Wednesday isn't the same blabbermouth who failed in 1988 and 2008.

Why it matters: Biden now heeds guidance about staying on task with speeches and no longer worries a gaffe or two will cost him an election. His staff also limits the places where he speaks freely and off the cuff. This Biden protective bubble will only tighten in the months ahead, aides tell Axios.