WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today joined U.S. Senator John Thune, R-S.D., and 26 other Republican senators to introduce the Political Bias in Algorithm Sorting (BIAS) Emails Act. The legislation would hold Big Tech platforms accountable for using biased algorithms that covertly alter the way users are able to see emails from political campaigns and take control away from consumers. The senators’ legislation would also require more transparency by revealing the censorship practices used by Big Tech platforms, including Google, to filter certain emails.
“It is increasingly clear that Big Tech companies are willing to suppress conservative views and tilt the scale in favor of liberal political campaigns. It’s a direct rebuke to what Americans expect of email providers and violates the basic principles of our political culture,” Wicker said. “I am glad to join my colleagues on a measure that would protect freedom of thought and promote transparency on tech platforms that Americans depend on.”
Among other provisions, The Political BIAS Emails Act would prohibit email platforms from using biased algorithms to filter emails from federal political campaigns, unless a user took a proactive action to apply a certain label to that email.
The legislation would also bring much more transparency to the practices that large email services use by requiring email services to produce quarterly transparency reports.
The senators’ legislation follows the release of a non-partisan study that found during the 2020 election Google’s algorithm marked as spam nearly 70 percent of emails from Republican campaigns compared to only eight percent of emails from Democrat campaigns.
The legislation is also sponsored by Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Rick Scott, R-Fla., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., John Boozman, R-Ark., Mike Braun, R-Ind., Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Steve Daines, R-Mont., Deb Fischer, R-Neb., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Josh Hawley, R-Mo., James Lankford, R-Okla., Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., Roger Marshall, R-Kan., Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., Jerry Moran, R-Kan., Jim Risch, R-Idaho, Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Tim Scott, R-S.C., Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala.
Find the full bill here.