Congress needs to support the Black Tech Agenda
Technology has seeped into every facet of our lives. Every action you take on the internet is monitored, fueling algorithms that can determine if you’ll get a job, be approved for a loan, or be subjected to increased police surveillance. Google and Apple use their market dominance to determine which smaller apps succeed and which fail through acquire, copy and kill strategies. And telecom giants like Comcast and Verizon get to charge whatever they want for us to connect to the internet while often failing to provide reliable service, capping our data arbitrarily, and choosing which traffic gets through based on the highest bidder. The Big Tech and telecom corporations would have us believe that this is the way it must be, all while chasing profits no matter the cost to the rest of us.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We can create an Internet where Black people thrive. That’s why we created the Black Tech Agenda — to provide a roadmap for policymakers to ensure racial equity in tech regulation. The agenda offers real solutions that will help us to counter the fake solutions offered by Big Tech intended to preserve their profits at our expense.
The Black Tech Agenda focuses on six pillars to ensure a safe and fruitful online experience for Black people:
- Big Tech companies have a stranglehold on different sectors of the digital economy. By creating fair markets where Black businesses can compete, Black workers can thrive and Black customers will have more choices while shopping.
- We never know who has our data. By banning companies from using harmful data collection practices that invade privacy and ending the use of biometric surveillance technology by law enforcement agencies, Black people will be safer online and in their daily lives.
- Algorithms, or the automated processes by which decisions for things like which online ads are sent to someone browsing the internet, are often racist and lead to adverse real-world outcomes for Black people. By forcing companies to undergo independent audits, tech companies can address discrimination in their decision-making and repair the harm algorithmic bias has done to Black communities regarding equitable access to housing, health care, employment, education, credit, and insurance.
- The internet is a human right. When policymakers ensure that every person has access to high-quality, affordable internet, Black people can fully participate in all facets of the virtual world and access online employment and educational opportunities.
- Giving control of the internet to just a few tech mega-corporations increases unequal access to the online world. By putting the Federal Communications Commission in charge of regulating the internet, traffic will be treated more equally and Black people will have better, more guaranteed access to the virtual world. And it would ensure Internet Service Providers cannot block access to sites for racial justice groups such as Color Of Change.
Addressing Misinformation and Disinformation
- Misinformation and disinformation are dangerous and lead to real-world harm. By regulating optimization algorithms and reducing monopoly power, we can change incentives that allow companies to profit from harm. We can make the internet and our physical world safer for Black people. These policies would help increase Black civic participation, improve public health in Black communities and limit the spread of white nationalism and other threats to our safety.
Join thousands of other Color Of Change members and pledge your support for this groundbreaking agenda today!
Here is the Petition:
Dear Member of Congress,
The Black Tech Agenda will fight Big Tech monopolies, keep online platforms accountable and make the virtual and physical worlds safer for Black people. I'm signing on as a supporter because I care about the safety of Black people online. I urge you to endorse the Black Tech Agenda and support policies that align with it.