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  • Last modified 13 days ago (June 23, 2022)

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Of boxes spammed and oxen gored

We’re all sick of junk mail and spam — and equally sick of big-tech companies plundering our rights by deciding what we do and don’t see online and on social media.

Many of us have pleaded for years for someone do something about it. Now, a cadre of congressmen has — but only because it involves political messages they send.

More than two dozen senators, including both of Kansas’ august representatives, introduced a bill Tuesday entitled the Political Bias in Algorithm Sorting Emails Act of 2022. As with all legislation, it also must have a “cute” title, so four of the words are abbreviated “B.I.A.S.”

We love that Congress finally is trying to take away some of the massive power tech companies wield. But, truth be known, what they’re fighting to protect is, in many cases, junk mail from them that many of us powerless tech users would just as soon see automatically sorted into spam folders.

We hope Congress’ Davidian courage to take on high-tech Goliaths who have seized control of much of the distribution of news and advertising in our society will be broadened. Now is the time for all good politicians to come to the aid not just of their parties but of average folks, as well.

Legislation blocking big-tech facilities from being used to deluge unwitting consumers with unsolicited commercial appeals via phone, postal mail, email, or intrusive online “splash screens” and other so-called interstitials is not nearly as difficult to enforce as they would lead us to believe.

We shouldn’t have to wait until politicians’ oxen are being gored for someone to do something about it.

— ERIC MEYER

Last modified June 23, 2022

 

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