Politico Morning Tech: What tech can do to drown out vaccine lies

April 15, 2021 Media

— Spreading awareness: The Senate Commerce Committee will drill into how tech companies can spread accurate information about Covid-19 vaccines.

— Tightened timeline: The tech industry has some feedback on President Joe Biden’s digital infrastructure plan: Move faster.

— Turning up the volume: There’s intensifying pressure from progressives over who will helm the Justice Department’s antitrust division.

The disinformation battle: A collection of 28 progressive groups, including civil rights organizations, is linking the fight against disinformation with a push for strong antitrust advocates. In a letter provided to MT, Color of Change, the Action Center on Race and the Economy and the American Economic Liberties Project argue that the largest tech companies have become “too big to care” about the rampant spread of misinformation on their platforms.

“We urge you and your administration to hold these platforms accountable, and strongly enforce U.S. antitrust laws,” the groups wrote to Biden. “Personnel is policy.”

AND NOW OUR WATCH HAS ENDED — It took 14.5 hours Wednesday but the House Judiciary Committee made it to antitrust, voting 24-17 to approve the antitrust subcommittee’s October report on Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon. (The panel first debated immigration, reparations and, somewhat inexplicably, Supreme Court packing — hence how a five-item markup took longer than a D.C. to Tokyo direct flight.) Of course, even that party-line vote didn’t happen without a little venting.