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Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said Wednesday he will introduce legislation banning Twitter’s use of automated algorithms to determine which users to delete from the platform.
The senator, who is a vocal advocate for stricter internet censorship measures, is pushing legislation in the House of Representatives, a source familiar with the effort told The Hill.
Sanders is expected to introduce the legislation at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, a Capitol Hill aide confirmed.
The legislation is not expected to get a hearing in the Republican-controlled House, but it has the support of some conservatives and social media activists, who argue that the platforms’ automated systems allow it to decide which accounts are likely to be divisive and that the algorithms are an abuse of the free speech protections afforded to Americans.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., is also pushing legislation to block Twitter from using its automated algorithm, a spokesman for the senator said.
The Whitehouse spokeswoman, Matt Pestilli, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump is considering instituting a similar law to prohibit the use of automatic algorithm decisions.
President Donald Trump speaks at a news conference on Jan. 25, 2021 in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C.
Trump is reportedly considering an executive order banning the use by Twitter of automatic decision-making algorithms, a move that would have immediate repercussions on the social media company.
Some have speculated that Trump’s order could be triggered by an automated decision to ban Trump supporters from Twitter and could result in a backlash against the president from his own followers.
The president has publicly rebuked the technology and said he believes the algorithm has a “bad rap.”
But Whitehouse said in a statement that he believes Trump will “use his executive authority to enforce this executive order, in which he will use Twitter’s algorithms to decide what users should see on the platform, including who should see what.”
In his statement, Whitehouse also said, “We can expect the president to make a strong case to Congress for the executive order to be the first step in a much broader crackdown on social media.”
Twitter also has said it is working on plans to increase its use of technology to help combat anti-Semitic content on the site.
Twitter did not respond to questions about whether the company would implement measures to limit its use and whether it is considering using algorithms to control content.