Proposed SAFE TECH ACT Could Help Safeguard Against Fraud, Abuse, and Exploitation of Online Users
With so many more individuals, organizations, and private companies using mostly online-based and platform-mediated channels to reach communities and consumers, many of us have started to question the safeguards and civil rights protections regarding who is responsible for abusing or exploiting those involved, especially in moments of tragedy. In response, the SAFE TECH ACT has been introduced by Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and rallied for by Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and designed to make it easier for targets of fraud, exploitation, and harassment to sue online and social media platforms that host abusive or harmful content.
According to the office of Sen. Warner, “Service providers’ disregard of the misuse of their platforms has produced more than just consumer harm: in many cases, continued – and reckless – inaction of platforms has facilitated pervasive online harassment of users. With abusers often shielded by online anonymity and platforms’ neglect of meaningful reporting tools, victims are in large measure left to fend for themselves.”