Kevin Bae

Non-Social in a Socially Networked World

Senators to introduce legislation to access your social media data

Let’s file this under, “What could go wrong?”

The bill, to be announced Thursday by Sens. Chris Coons (D., Del.) Rob Portman (R., Ohio) and Amy Klobuchar (D.,Minn.), would allow researchers to submit proposals to the National Science Foundation. If the NSF supports a proposal, social-media platforms would be required to furnish the needed data, subject to privacy protections that could include anonymizing it or “white rooms” in which researchers could review sensitive material.

Senators Want Social-Media Apps to Share Research – WSJ

Does anyone honestly believe that none of this information will get out? That none of it will be tied directly to the user? We don’t trust social media companies as it is and we trust Congress even less. The proposed bill would shield social media companies from liability related to privacy concerns.

The legislation would also give the Federal Trade Commission the authority to require regular disclosure of specific information by platforms, such as data about ad targeting.

The commission would also be able to require that platforms create basic research tools to study what content succeeds, similar to the basic design of the Meta-owned CrowdTangle.

The bill would also bar social-media platforms from blocking independent research initiatives. Both researchers and platforms would be given a legal safe harbor related to privacy concerns.

Senators Want Social-Media Apps to Share Research – WSJ

In other words, they’ll leak your stuff and you won’t be able to sue them. Good times!

Image by Thomas Ulrich from Pixabay