Under the Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies (or EARN IT) Act, a government commission would define best practices for how technology companies should combat this type of material. On the surface, EARN IT proposes an impactful approach. A New York Times investigation in September found that “many tech companies failed to adequately police sexual abuse imagery on their platforms.” The investigation highlighted features, offered by these companies, that provide “digital hiding places for perpetrators.”
In reality, the criticized features are exactly the same ones that protect our privacy online. They help us read The Washington Post in private and ensure we only see authentic content created by the journalists. They allow us to communicate with each other. They empower us to express ourselves. And they enable us to connect with journalists so the truth can make the page. This raises the question of whether the bill will primarily protect children or primarily undermine free speech online.
Link: New bill threatens journalists’ ability to protect sources