Online platforms

Bill would open "biased" platforms to lawsuits

A new bill would open up platforms like YouTube and Facebook to lawsuits about content they host, unless federal regulators certified that their moderation of content was not "biased against a political party, political candidate, or political viewpoint."

Why it matters: This would be the most ambitious effort yet to limit platforms' longstanding protection from liability for user content they host (in 2017, Congress allowed lawsuits over sex trafficking). It also represents an escalation by conservatives who have claimed, with only anecdotal evidence, that Silicon Valley companies are suppressing their views.

Antitrust exemption may not save news publishers

Antique illustration of a 19th-century steam powered printing press
Steam-powered rotary press for the New York Sun, 19th century. Photo: DeAgostini/Getty Images

News publishers told Congress Tuesday that they need an exemption from antitrust laws to shore up their revenue in the digital age, in the first hearing of a series on "Online Platforms and Market Power" by a House Judiciary subcommittee.

Why it matters: Everyone agrees that trustworthy journalism is essential to democracy, but that's where the consensus ends.